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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Sara J. Knight, PhD (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)
Description: his book focuses on the use of therapy groups for patients with illness and health-related problems. In its introductory chapter, it details conceptual issues and practical concerns in design of groups for medical patients. The remaining six chapters consider groups used in the treatment of a variety of health and illness problems, including HIV, cancer, and substance abuse. Each chapter provides a thorough description of group content and process and presents empirical evidence for the efficacy of group therapy.
Purpose: Evolving from a symposium presented at an annual meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, the editor's purpose was to bring together the foremost clinician researchers working with therapy groups in medical illness. The authors attempt to provide a comprehensive view of the clinical methods involved in their studies of therapy groups — a rare find in the literature. Each chapter aims to integrate research data on the psychological, social, physiological, and health outcomes of groups.
Audience: Directed toward practitioners and scientist practitioners, the book is relevant to psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists, nurses, and chaplains. Students and experienced practitioners will find the book understandable and useful. The authors are highly credible and are leaders in behavioral medicine.
Features: Many tables and figures supplement the text. The introductory chapter, in particular, contains a large number of tables and figures on the conceptual basis for group work in health and illness. The authors make excellent use of case material. The references are current and pertinent. The table of contents and index are well organized and clear.
Assessment: This is an outstanding reference that would be a valuable addition to medical, behavioral, and social science libraries. Students, interns, and experienced professionals will likely find the description of group content and process enlightening. Scientists interested in expanding upon the findings of these authors will appreciate the detail of clinical methods.