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From The CriticsReviewer: Jason Chang, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This multiauthored, theoretical, and practical review of prescribing for child and adolescent psychiatric disorders comes 10 years after the previous edition.
Purpose: It provides a much-needed update of pediatric psychopharmacology and it also addresses some of the current trends and controversies in this area. The book is definitely needed, as child psychopharmacology is an area that is understudied, and a good reliable reference is very important for practitioners. The authors do a good job of meeting their objectives.
Audience: The book is targeted at anyone who prescribes psychiatric medications for children or adolescents — primarily child and adolescent psychiatrists - but it would be particularly useful for trainees, such as fellows and residents. It also would also be useful to pediatricians who are often relied upon to prescribe but undertrained in the specifics, given the shortage of child psychiatrists in the country. The authors are physicians with good experience treating child and adolescent psychiatric cases.
Features: Several chapters on the general theory and principles behind prescribing medications to children open the book. It covers various background concepts, including (interestingly) current topics such as political developments that affect prescribing patterns. The book then systematically reviews each drug class of importance to child psychiatry. It discusses the history, drug mechanisms, prior workup, usage in clinical practice, dosing, and monitoring guidelines thoroughly and clearly. The book always quotes studies, including the most important landmark studies in child psychiatry, and provides good evidence-based support for its statements. The only minor drawback is that given the textbook format, it is not a good quick reference guide for prescribing nor, to be fair, does it claim to be one.
Assessment: This excellent overview of psychopharmacology for children and adolescents makes strong use of studies and evidence to support its information. The newest edition is up to date (and much needed), and addresses relevant real-world issues related to prescribing. It discusses both the theoretical and practical aspects of medication, making it an essential reference for practicing child psychiatrists in an area for which we have very few reliable, useful, and specific resources.