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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Steven T. Herron, MD (University of Arizona Health Sciences Center)
Description: Brief in its presentation, this book tackles posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and acute stress disorder (ASD), including their history, assessing and diagnosing the conditions, and psychotherapeutic and psychopharmacologic advances in their treatment.
Purpose: This is intended to provide an update of the most recent information on the etiology, diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of patients for PTSD and ASD.
Audience: The author suggests that the audience for this book is mental health professionals, primary care physicians, and medical students, although it is likely other clinicians, such as social workers and psychiatric nurse practitioners, would benefit from it as well.
Features: With only six chapters and 100 pages (without the appendix, glossary, and references), this book is remarkably compact yet thorough. Each chapter concludes with a section of key concepts that summarizes the information, and numerous case examples give readers some context and help them appreciate the clinical variability in these diagnoses. Additionally, comments in the page margins highlight important data.
Assessment: It is hard to imagine how this author was able to condense such a large volume of data into a manageable book that readers can absorb in one sitting. Its primary strength lies in the case examples, as they provide a rich contrast from what can be, at times, dry material. I used it to help review these diagnoses after a local tragic event received international attention. Many who requested information about PTSD and ASD were referred to this book due to its concise, accurate, and thoughtful presentation. Stylistically, it leaves a bit to be desired, as it contains inconsistent fonts and other things that break up the flow of the hook, but these are minor problems when compared to the content.