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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Daniel E. Levin, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This review of mental health interventions following disasters with a special emphasis on terrorism is a follow-up to the authors' previous book, Individual and Community Responses to Trauma and Disaster: The Structure of Human Chaos (Cambridge University Press, 1994)
Purpose: The goal is to examine commonalities and differences across disasters, with a special emphasis on individual and community responses and mental health interventions to terrorism. There is a great need for an updated book devoted to this topic. The editors and authors have succeeded in providing the field and community leaders with an all too timely and needed review of this subject.
Audience: The book is written for professionals who work with trauma victims and help plan for disasters. Professionals from many different disciplines will find this book very helpful. The authors are undoubtedly the leading experts in the field.
Features: The first major section includes reviews of the data and some first-hand accounts and "lessons learned" from leaders of responses to recent catastrophic acts of terrorism, such as the bombing of the U.S. embassy in Nairobi and 9/11. The next section is a compilation of chapters on acute interventions after a disaster for individuals and groups. The final section focuses on specific individual psychological responses and community responses to fears of exposure to contamination. Community leaders planning for disasters will appreciate the shared insights and experiences of leaders who led previous responses to terrorism. Readers will benefit from the assessment of the research on previous disasters that is clearly presented in the book. Additionally, the book includes a CD-ROM containing three, 50-minute PowerPoint presentations. The lectures cover an overview of psychiatric responses to disaster, debriefing, and working within federal disasters.
Assessment: This is an essential resource for professionals seeking authoritative insight into individual and community mental health interventions after acts of terrorism and disaster. The book expands upon and updates the authors' previous book, specifically and necessarily focusing on the disaster of terrorism. The importance of a resource covering this topic cannot be overestimated. The authors have once again put together one of the most scholarly, pertinent, and useful books in the field.