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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Steven T. Herron, MD (University of Arizona Health Sciences Center)
Description: This is a "revised and substantially expanded" edition of a book on the multitude of issues facing the consultation (recently renamed "psychosomatic") psychiatrist in a hospital-based setting.
Purpose: As the field of psychosomatic psychiatry continues to expand, the complex issues its practitioners face also are growing exponentially. This book was compiled by multiple authors to explore these issues using an evidence-based model as a foundation.
Audience: Though directed at individuals practicing the subspecialty area of psychosomatic psychiatry, it also would be useful for anyone evaluating or treating patients with mental health issues in an acute or short-term medical facility.
Features: With an additional eight chapters of material, as well as updated information in the remaining chapters, this edition covers most of the fundamental concepts one might encounter when managing a consultation service. Chapters range in length from four pages to 26 pages, and most contain numerous charts, figures, tables, and case examples. Every chapter concludes with an extensive list of references.
Assessment: I have limited familiarity with previous editions of this book, but I have examined a number of titles with similar goals, though many of these are more limited in their scope and approach. This book is expansive in its topics, but maintains a readable quality. Particularly useful chapters cover complementary medicine and natural medications, culture and psychiatry, and the so-called "Bum Patients." Stylistically, the font is small (perhaps to keep down the page count) and unappealing in its dull gray tones. However, the book is a valuable reference tool, especially for those interested in a more comprehensive and well-rounded view of the patients and issues one might face as a psychosomatic practitioner.