Description: This handbook covers the assessment and treatment of geriatric, adult, child, and adolescent patients in the psychiatric emergency setting, following a biopsychosocial approach to immediate as well as long-term treatment plans.
Purpose: According to the authors, the purpose is to complement existing books on this topic and to provide more information as well as in-depth discussions. These are worthy objectives. As the author points out though, certain chapters are similar in content to psychiatric textbooks. The objective to serve as a comprehensive and practical text in emergency psychiatry is met, although this makes it less of a handbook.
Audience: This book is written not only for psychiatrists, but also for psychiatry residents, medical students, and clinicians who may be involved in the treatment of psychiatric patients in and out of the emergency setting. It is appropriate for psychiatrists and psychiatry residents.
Features: It primarily covers definitions, epidemiology, clinical characteristics, assessment, and the pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatment of various psychiatric conditions in the emergency setting. In addition, crisis intervention, general psychiatric assessment, medications for general psychiatric emergencies, and the emergency psychiatric manifestations of medical conditions are covered. Two chapters are devoted to PTSD and the emergency psychiatric care for victims and survivors of terrorism and natural disasters. The emergency psychiatric manifestations of medical conditions are covered particularly well. Tables, figures, boxes, acronyms, mnemonics, and scales are unique features. The book is easy to read and understand. One shortcoming is that the pharmacology portions do not reference specific evidence-based literature. Also, some topics, like child and adolescent psychiatric emergencies, are not as well covered as others.
Assessment: This is a comprehensive book for the assessment and treatment of psychiatric problems in the emergency setting. Other handbooks, such as Pocket Handbook of Emergency Psychiatry Medicine, Kaplan and Sadock (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 1993), use a presenting clinical problem approach to diagnosing and treating psychiatric emergencies. This approach provides a quick reference that is more practical in the emergency setting.