Medical Complications of Psychiatric Illness

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Psychiatric patients have an increased rate of morbidity and mortality due to physical illnesses. Distressingly, psychiatrists fail to recognize these comorbid medical illnesses in nearly half of all cases. All too often, the physical illness may be causing or exacerbating the psychiatric symptoms. Furthermore, the psychiatric condition itself and iatrogenic complications of medication or other treatments can result in serious medical pathology.

Until now, most psychiatrists have deferred the general medical care of their patients to other practitioners. Yet because psychiatrists are uniquely positioned to provide health care that bridges somatic and mental conditions, they are increasingly being called on to ensure that their patients also receive adequate medical care.

This breakthrough text responds to that call to action from a perspective unique in the literature: It focuses on the medical complications of psychiatric illnesses, rather than the more typical psychiatric complications of medical illnesses.

This concise yet comprehensive book is intended for practitioners who treat adult medical patients. It is divided into two main sections: • Health Care of Psychiatric Patients, organized by recommendations for routine medical management and reproductive health, focuses on the general health care maintenance of psychiatric patients with medical illnesses. Also discussed are the unique reproductive health needs of psychiatric patients, who are often at increased risk of coercive or abusive sexual relationships, rape and other sexual assaults, unplanned pregnancy, pregnancy complications, and sexually transmitted diseases.• Psychiatric Disorders, organized by diagnostic groupings, focuses on those psychiatric disorders — affective, anxiety, and somatoform disorders and dementia; schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders; Munchausen's syndrome and other factitious disorders; self-injurious behavior; eating disorders; and alcohol and drug abuse — that most clearly can have medical complications.

Using extensive notes and tables throughout, these distinguished contributors have created far more than just another compendium of medical illnesses that can present with psychiatric symptoms. Here you'll find a practical, detailed roadmap that will be welcomed not only by students, residents, and clinicians working with adult psychiatric patients who develop medical complications, but also by practitioners who manage psychiatric patients in a general medical practice.

American Psychiatric Publishing

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Michelle Field-Chez, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This book discusses how to medically follow a psychiatric patient in terms of routine health maintenance and the medical problems that are specific to each psychiatric disorder.
Purpose: The authors' purpose is to provide practicing psychiatrists a ready source that will be useful to them when dealing with medical problems of their psychiatric patients. This is a worthy goal in this day and age when psychiatrists may be taking on a more primary care role for their psychiatric patients. It is becoming clearer that psychiatric patients may have more morbidity and mortality than other patients, thus psychiatrists must be more up-to-date on these medical issues. This book meets this purpose.
Audience: This book is for practicing psychiatrists. The authors appear to be credible and are all academics. Two are psychiatrists, one is a research neuroscientist and pharmacologist, one is a neuropsychiatrist, one an internal medicine physician, and one an emergency medicine physician.
Features: The first part of the book covers general healthcare maintenance for the psychiatric patient, including reproduction and routine medical evaluation. The second half of the book is organized by psychiatric disorders and the medical conditions that can be specific to that disorder.
Assessment: This is a wonderful book that every psychiatrist should have on their shelf. This book will help psychiatrists obtain the best medical care for their patients by helping them know what disorders to look for, what other doctors to consult, and what tests to order.
Autumn Ning
Those who do not practice consultation-liaison psychiatry regularly will likely find this text to be an effective tool with which they may better assess and treat their patients, exactly as the authors of the book intended. The consultation-liaison psychiatrist may utilize this text as a teaching tool, whether he is teaching residents, students, or internists. The tremendous scope of medical illness in psychiatric patients makes it difficult to cover any one illness in detail, but this text serves as a useful jumping-off point to further explore the specifics of a particular illness from the exhaustive list of references the authors have provided.

(M.D., Psychosomatics)

Donald M. Hilty
Overall, Medical Complications of Psychiatric Illness is a useful contribution to the literature because it highlights the importance of health maintenance as well as the identification and the management of medical problems in psychiatric patients. The book is well written, well referenced, and concise. It is a practical resource for practicing psychiatrists, and it would also be useful for psychiatry residents, medical students, and other mental health staff. In addition, there is sufficient value for primary care physicians and/or hospital physicians who care for psychiatric patients.

(M.D., and Thomas S. Nesbitt, M.D., American Journal of Psychiatry)

Lydia Chwastiak
Medical Complications of Psychiatric Illness is an important book. It is the first to systematically address the medical comorbidity of patients with psychiatric illness, a critical component of comprehensive care for this vulnerable population. The book is a very useful practical guide for the medical care of psychiatric patients. It is concise and easy to read, and both psychiatrists and primary care providers will be able to use it as a quick reference.

(M.D., M.P.H., Psychiatric Services)

Thomas N. Wise
This is a small, reasonably priced volume that should be in the libraries of all physicians.

(M.D., The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease)

From The Critics
Provides psychiatrists with practical information concerning some medical complications of psychiatric disorders and the routine health maintenance of psychiatric patients. Topics include reproductive health, mechanisms by which patients induce factitious illness, depression and anxiety in patients with medical illness, management of self-injury, alcohol withdrawl, and the possible effects of eating disorders. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

3 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780880488075
  • Publisher: American Psychiatric Publishing, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/28/2002
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 228
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Claire Pomeroy, M.D., M.B.A., is Professor and Chief of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. She also serves as Associate Dean for Research and Informatics and Associate Chief of Staff at that institution. Her research interests focus on host immune function in disease, including alterations observed in patients with anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders. Dr. Pomeroy is the author of more than 100 articles and book chapters.

James E. Mitchell, M.D., completed his undergraduate studies at Indiana University and his medical education at Northwestern University in Chicago. He took his residency training at the University of Minnesota, and following a period of private practice, joined the faculty there, rising to the level of Professor and Director of Adult Psychiatry. In 1996, he moved to Fargo, North Dakota, where he assumed the Presidency of the Neuropsychiatric Research Institute and the Chairmanship of the Department of Neuroscience at the University of North Dakota School of Medical and Health Sciences. He is known primarily for his research in the area of eating disorders.

James L. Roerig, Pharm.D., B.C.P.P., is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry in the Department of Neuroscience at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and is a Research Scientist at the Neuropsychiatric Research Institute in Fargo, North Dakota.

Scott Crow, M.D., is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Eating Disorders Clinic at the University of Minnesota, and is currently President of the Minnesota Psychiatric Society.

American Psychiatric Publishing

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Table of Contents

Part I: Health Care of Psychiatric Patients. Routine medical evaluation and health maintenance. Reproductive health. Part II: Psychiatric Disorders. Affective, anxiety, and somatoform disorders and dementia. Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. Munchausen's syndrome and other factitious disorders. Self-injurious behavior. Eating disorders. Alcohol and drug abuse. Index.

American Psychiatric Publishing

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