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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Patricia E. Murphy, PhD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: Not only does this book provide information about the psychological and social aspects of chronic or life threatening illness, but it also includes concise information about several major illnesses, their prognoses, and their treatment.
Purpose: In this edited book with contributions from several authors, the goal is to fill in the gap in modern medicine and its seven-minute doctor visits with a way to treat not only the somatic aspects of disease, but also, with the help of mental healthcare providers, to attend to the emotional needs of patients. There is growing evidence that those who manage illness well are likely to adhere to treatment regimens and to heal faster due to decreased stress. This book is a useful resource for addressing psychosocial needs.
Audience: The book is geared toward mental healthcare workers and nurses who are apt to work with persons with serious illnesses. Chapters addressing specific illness or treatment methods are not only authored by experts in their fields, but also draw on some of the best research.
Features: Clear and concise medical information gives the mental health provider a context for understanding the stresses for the patient as well as for the family. Having clarified the difference between psychotherapy and psychosocial treatment, the authors provide excellent information on coping and offer a description of the many techniques that can be used for stress reduction. A very nice aspect of this book is the inclusion of a view of illness as a point of growth for some people so that goal of the psychosocial treatment might be to facilitate this positive development in the person's life.
Assessment: The book's organization by topic makes it easy to use for the busy clinician. It is comprehensive in addressing a variety of psychosocial means of support. Its single drawback is the use of some fairly old references rather than more recent works in the field.