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From The CriticsReviewer: Nancy Schell, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This book looks at the concept, practice, and development of psychiatric intensive care.
Purpose: The purpose is to cover as many elements of psychiatric intensive care as possible within the confines of one book. It also provides a practical guide in aiding the establishment and management of such.
Audience: The book is written for all healthcare and related professionals working in or interacting with psychiatric intensive care units as well as managers with a responsibility to commission, provide, and monitor such units. The intended audience may be too broad such that only one or two chapters may be useful to a particular reader. On the whole, it would appear more aptly geared for administrative purposes.
Features: The book discusses the development and definition of psychiatric intensive care and management of the acutely ill by first addressing such issues as drug treatments, psychological therapies, therapeutic activities, restraints, and seclusion. The focus then shifts toward areas of risk, interface with forensic services, and other notable issues from setting up a new psychiatric intensive care unit to effective management of care. Although it provides a good general overview, it is not thorough enough in important chapters such as drug treatment, wherein newer drugs that could be useful in an acute setting are not mentioned. This may or may not be related to the fact that this book is based upon practice in the U.K., which can significantly differ from practice in the U.S. This makes some of the material irrelevant in the United States. However, the book does offer a different perspective which is interesting and may be beneficial in further improvement and growth within the U.S.
Assessment: There are not many books that have focused on this topic. Atlhough this book is a worthwhile contribution to the field, clinicians in the U.S. may not find it as practical as practitioners in the U.K.