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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Steven T. Herron, MD (University of Arizona Health Sciences Center)
Description: Containing over 275 different psychiatric measures spanning various diagnostic categories, this text catalogues well-known and utilized scales, provides brief descriptions of their clinical utility, and offers limited psychometric property information (including reliability and validity.
Purpose: The editors of this edition indicate its purpose is "to inform clinicians about the selection, use, and interpretation of formal assessments. . . and to assist them in evaluating the potential utility of such measurement tools in clinical practice."
Audience: Directed at clinicians working within the mental health field, this text may also be useful for individuals from other disciplines, including those interested in public mental health, nursing, or other aspects of psychiatric patient care, as well as residents and medical students studying in the field.
Features: The most valuable feature of this book is the CD-ROM which contains scanned copies of many (but not all) of the measures. The measures cover both general categories (level of functioning, quality of life, etc.) and specific DSM-IV-TR diagnostic areas. The initial section of the book explains methods of its use, and indicates additional factors to be considered in choosing specific measures, including those related to culture. Each chapter ends with a manageable reference list, and an illustration near the title of each measure indicates if it is on the CD-ROM.
Assessment: The descriptions of measures are brief, so if readers are interested in more detail, they must rely on the references for additional useful information. The authors' attempt to provide high-yield information is commendable, though at times frustrating, as it can be difficult to determine the appropriate patient populations to screen. Ultimately, the benefits of having this condensed information far outweigh the disadvantages.