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From The CriticsReviewer: Kathryn Jackson, BS (University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health)
Description: This is the third edition of an overview of the concepts, methods, and research advances in the field of psychiatric epidemiology that has been revised and updated with additional chapters on recent progress in research methods and advances in specific psychiatric disorders.
Purpose: The objective is to "provide a comprehensive, easy to understand overview of research methods for the non-specialist." The first 15 chapters provide a general overview of the field of epidemiology as applied to psychiatry. The second half consists of 18 chapters dedicated to the epidemiology of specific major psychiatric disorders, child/adolescent and geriatric epidemiology, and the epidemiology of disorder in immigrant populations. The extensive list of contributors provides a global perspective, as the researchers have studied in areas all over the world. The result is an overview of the importance of the applications of psychiatric epidemiology in the field of public health.
Audience: The target audience is "students of psychiatric epidemiology, psychiatric residents, general psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals." It is most appropriate for graduate students in public health and epidemiology, as it provides an overall perspective on psychiatric disorders with an emphasis on application and importance in the field of public health. The wide range of the topics, especially in the first section, may make the book too broad for established mental health professionals, although the book does imply the necessity of understanding the epidemiology of diseases when studying treatments.
Features: The first of the book's two main parts is a general overview of epidemiology, study design and methods, the natural history of psychopathology, and psychiatric assessment. The second part provides literature reviews of the epidemiology of major psychological disorders and of those disorders in specific populations. This third edition now includes chapters on experimental epidemiology, gene-environment interactions, the use of case registries, eating disorders, suicide, psychiatric disorders in immigrant populations, and the epidemiology of several childhood disorders. Clearer distinctions between sections of the book would add clarity to the chapters for readers.
Assessment: Overall, this book provides a thorough and understandable introduction to the field of psychiatric epidemiology, suitable for students wishing to become familiar with up-to-date applications and findings in psychiatry as they relate to public health and epidemiology. Unfortunately, the high price may put it out of reach for students not specifically enrolled in a psychiatric epidemiology program.