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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: John K. Larson, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This is a collection of articles, some previously published in Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, and some written especially for this volume. The contributors are from the fields of psychology, psychiatry, and statistics, primarily from European academic centers. The topics cover a broad range of concerns in outcome measurement from general statistical issues, study design and implementation considerations, and a comprehensive discussion of specific instruments currently in use. The articles address both practical and theoretical issues with equal authority.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a state-of-the-art map of this relatively young field to enable the reader to make informed judgments regarding the design and implementation of outcome measurement as well as its practicability, reliability, validity, and relevance to clinical practice. The focus is clearly on asking the right questions rather than attempting to provide dogmatic answers to those questions.
Audience: The book is targeted primarily to an academic audience and mental health service planners and administrators, but it would be an excellent overview of the field for any interested mental health practitioner.
Features: Each article is well organized and followed by an extensive list of supporting references. Some articles include black-and-white diagrams and tables. Topics include statistical methodology, global functioning, patient satisfaction, family or caregiver burden, quality of life, social disabilities, determination of indirect and direct costs, quality improvement, and discussions of specific instruments. Most begin with a theoretical discussion of the problems inherent in measuring the variable followed by an assessment of current instruments and techniques.
Assessment: This book can be enthusiastically recommended to academicians in research settings and anyone involved in the assessment of the value and effectiveness of psychiatric services.