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From The CriticsReviewer: Steven T. Herron, MD(University of Arizona Health Sciences Center)
Description: The authors, who have both vast clinical and educational expertise, have compiled this weighty (8.4 lbs) and somewhat intimidating book to update previous versions with the most recent and relevant clinical psychiatric information.
Purpose: Ultimately, the purpose is to provide readers with a more complete understanding of the advances in the field since the last edition, as well as to offer a brief appreciation for the more classical approaches to the practice of psychiatry.
Audience: Though useful as a reference for anyone interested in learning more about mental health issues, the primary focus is on practitioners in the field, whether they be social workers, nurse practitioners, nurses, medical students, psychiatric residents, psychologists, or psychiatrists.
Features: Based primarily on the classification system used in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: Text Revision, 4th edition (American Psychiatric Publishing, 2000), the book addresses diagnostic, assessment, and treatment issues from a clinical perspective. Chapters are relatively easy to read, with ample references and many charts, graphs, diagrams, and tables to illustrate important aspects of the material. The editors were chosen for their overwhelming experience in their respective fields, and they have worked diligently to maintain consistency throughout the book.
Assessment: Thankfully, unlike Kaplan and Sadock's Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 8th edition (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2005), this book has a much larger type, making the information more readable and stylistically less intimidating. The material is well researched and useful, and the chapters on suicide and the assessment of dangerousness are particularly well done, considering the wealth of information continuing to be published on these topics. Compared to other books (such as Kaplan and Sadock), this one seems much more approachable and less daunting. Its major drawback is its physical size, which detracts from its usefulness for anything other than a staying on a shelf for reference.