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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: John K. Larson, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This is the eighth in a series of volumes that specifically address managed mental healthcare issues. This volume is a compilation of articles by a wide range of mental health professionals.
Purpose: It is organized and written to assist the provider who may be wrestling with the ideological considerations inherent in managed mental healthcare. It is intended to provide an overview of the topics discussed but to also stimulate further interest and motivation to refine clinical skills and system capabilities.
Audience: The targeted audience includes employee assistance programs and administrators but is written mainly for the busy practitioner who desires a concise, practical discussion of clinically relevant topics.
Features: Each chapter is well-written, concise, and sometimes provocative, but still with an emphasis on practicality. The contents are presented in such a way as to include the basic diagnostic categories such as anxiety, depression, adjustment disorders, and alcoholism; therapies including individual, group, marital, and family, as well as innovative approaches such as computer assisted therapy and distance writing; specialized programs such as employee assistance programs; and populations at risk. There is also an excellent chapter entitled, "The Paradox of Change," which should stimulate even the most jaded observer of managed care to reassess their stance. Each chapter concludes with an excellent bibliography to assist in-depth study of the topics presented.
Assessment: This is an eminently useful publication that should serve well as a helpful guide to the practicing clinician in understanding the ethical and clinical implications of managed care in a way that is pragmatic and hopeful.