Description: This is the first edition of a two-volume, comprehensive textbook of psychiatry covering everything from normal human development through psychopathology and treatment.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a comprehensive view of psychiatry within a biopsychosocial framework. It seeks a depth of psychiatric literature review that is user-friendly for medical student and veteran psychiatrist alike. Despite its similarity to other comprehensive textbooks of psychiatry, this book does a superb job in guiding the reader through a well-organized and well-researched survey of this highly complex field.
Audience: As stated in the preface, the book is written for many varying levels of experience, ranging from the medical student seeking clinical vignettes and treatment algorithms to the sophisticated clinician wanting the latest theories of psychopathology. The dozens of chapters are individually authored by prominent academicians, and the book is adeptly brought together by three nationally respected editors and researchers.
Features: The book is nicely laid out with a combination of well-organized text and abundant well-conceived illustrations, including tables, graphs, figures, diagrams, and photographs. In addition, DSM-IV criteria is highlighted in colored boxes, as are topic-specific clinical vignettes. The references are numerous and current, and the table of contents and index are clear, logical, and helpful. The set is sophisticated in both appearance and design, in keeping with its impressive content.
Assessment: Despite its redundancy in the marketplace of general psychiatric textbooks, this is a worthwhile purchase. It provides a depth of coverage that is clinically useful and not terribly research laden, while also allowing quick reference to essential material via its abundant, well-designed illustrations. For those clinicians seeking a current, general, comprehensive reference textbook of contemporary psychiatry, this latest offering deserves serious consideration.