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From The CriticsReviewer: Elaine M. Scorza, MS, APRN, BC(Rush University College of Nursing)
Description: This handy guide for nursing professionals to the pharmacological management of common psychiatric disorders can also serve as a supplemental clinical reference to a primary textbook used in teaching graduate nurse practitioner students in primary care and psychiatric-mental health nursing.
Purpose: The authors' intent is to provide a guide to psychopharmacology for both primary care and psychiatric-mental health practitioners for use in practice. They note that what sets it apart from other works is that it provides an overview of the DSM-IV-TR disorders across the lifespan along with the suggested guidelines for psychopharmacological management of those disorders. This book meets the needs of busy advanced practitioners in these areas who are in need of a reference that covers a majority of psychiatric-mental health diagnoses and their pharmacological management protocols.
Audience: According to the authors, the audience includes nurse practitioners and other primary caregivers in practice, but this guide also is of value to students who need a more advanced and prescriber-oriented approach to this aspect of clinical care. The authors are experienced professionals in pharmacology, psychopharmacology, and the education of nurse practitioners.
Features: The first four chapters focus on psychopharmacology and its interface with receptors and neurotransmitters, clinical neuroanatomy, principles of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, and emergency psychiatry. Then, treatment guidelines and the prioritization of drugs according to clinical efficacy help readers understand the role each drug plays. Seasoned professionals may note, however, that additional uses of a medication are not highlighted for some medications that may be used for more than one condition. When a drug is used for more than one condition, the full description is replicated in each of these sections. An example is the drug clomipramine (Anafranil), which is classified as a tricyclic antidepressant and listed both in the chapter on mood disorders and in the chapter on anxiety disorders in the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder. While this is somewhat redundant, it makes it easier for nurse practitioners in primary care or psychiatry to quickly locate the needed information using the classification of the disorder, rather than having to extrapolate an additional use of a medication from one combined reference. A shortcoming of the book is the brevity of information on associated management of the featured medical conditions, although this is consistent with the objective of providing a guide for readers who are expected to be versed in treatment modalities and monitoring.
Assessment: Overall, this is a valuable addition to the library of both primary care and psychiatric-mental health nurses, nurse practitioners, and their students.