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From The CriticsReviewer: Michael Joel Schrift, D.O., M.A.(University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: Five years have elapsed since the first edition of this superb and comprehensive textbook of geriatric psychiatry was published, and this second edition is fully updated with new research findings and additional sections. Written and edited by an array of internationally recognized clinician-scientists in geriatric psychiatry, it remains an outstanding contribution to the psychiatric literature.
Purpose: The purpose, according to the editors, is to "provide a compendium of practical information for geriatric psychiatrists and other mental health clinicians to assist in the ongoing evaluation and care of their patients." The editors emphasize an integrated multidisciplinary approach "to provide care for older individuals and stress the integration of body, brain, culture, and environment as a necessary concept." Indeed, the editors and chapter authors have fulfilled this goal with a top-notch second edition.
Audience: The intended audience remains geriatric psychiatrists and general psychiatrists, but geriatricians, primary care physicians, psychologists, and social workers also would benefit from this book. Psychiatry residents rotating through geriatric psychiatry and fellows in geriatric psychiatry, behavioral neurology/neuropsychiatry need to know the information contained in this accessible book. This second edition is a fantastic review for those individuals who are planning to sit for the written examination for added qualifications in geriatric psychiatry.
Features: The book now features 49 chapters (the first edition had 43), and the additional chapters focus on the integration of medicine and psychiatry. Chapters are scholarly, with pertinent and timely references. As in the first edition, the first of the five sections covers issues regarding the patient, the geriatric psychiatrist, and the caregiver. The second section again covers assessment and contains very useful chapters on the medical, neurological, neuropsychological, and neuroimaging evaluation of the geriatric patient. Section three covers psychotherapeutic, psychopharmacologic, and convulsive therapy for geriatric patients with psychiatric disorders as well as informative chapters on hospice care, spirituality, and ethical issues. The core of this book remains in section four with reviews of all the important neuropsychiatric disorders in the elderly and with more detailed coverage of the dementias. The final section covers such important topics as integration of medical and psychiatric issues, executive dysfunction, agitation and psychosis, depression and anxiety in dementia patients, psychiatric and cognitive side effects of medications, neuroleptic-induced movement disorders and persistent pain. Appendix A is a useful guide to geriatric psychopharmacology; appendix B reviews essential neuroanatomy for practicing psychiatrists; appendix C contains a helpful review of the OBRA Guidelines; and appendix D is a listing of resources for geriatric psychiatry. The index is helpful for searching specific topics. Access to an online version of the book is available for those who purchase the book.
Assessment: I was asked to review the first edition of this book five years ago, which happened to be just before I took the ABPN recertification examination in geriatric psychiatry — I passed. This edition is better than the first. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in this burgeoning field.