Description: This book attempts to develop evidence-based guidelines for the pharmacological treatment of common functional disorders including chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome and premenstrual syndrome.
Purpose: The author intends to create a therapeutic guide for the treatment of patients with these four functional syndromes. The current lack of evidenced-based guidelines leaves many physicians without a clear plan for treating these patients. Combined with the controversial nature of these syndromes, the author's objectives are very worthwhile, although challenging. He meets his objectives well, insofar as research provides any clear conclusions.
Audience: The text targets primary care physicians and other specialists to whom patients affected with these syndromes may be referred. The author is highly credible, with more than 60 publications particularly in the area of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Features: The author examined published studies of pharmacological treatments for patients with these four functional syndromes. To his credit, he discusses the study details including patient selection, study design, outcome measures, results and their clinical significance. Despite extensive references, he did not include some noteworthy studies. In addition, as a text intended to be a desktop reference for physicians without expertise in these syndromes, some epidemiological data and other relevant information about the disorder would be helpful.
Assessment: The book is both timely and necessary. It is well planned, well written and easy to read. It provides an authoritative, fairly comprehensive review of the studies to support rational pharmacotherapy for treating patients with these controversial syndromes. It satisfies the author's intention to provide a fast and efficient resource of evidence-based guidelines for physicians, within the limitations of current research.