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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Aaron Plattner, MD (Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services)
Description: This book thoroughly covers the interview of a patient, with a focus on the mental health interview. It details how to ask specific questions, addresses different potential conflicts and/or issues that may arise, explains the different parts of the Mental Status Exam, describes how to communicate findings to others, and suggests how to improve interviewing skills through self-reflection and feedback.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a baseline foundation and tools for becoming an efficient interviewer as well as providing the basic foundation of the different aspects of the field of mental health.
Audience: Medical, psychology, social work, physician assistant, and other students who are enrolled in classes focused on the mental health are the intended audience.
Features: The book provides detailed explanations and examples of all of the different aspects of interviewing a patient in the context of mental health, as well as explanations of why the different areas are important. Areas include the basic format of an interview, how to perform the interview, how to address different potential conflicts that may arise, different symptoms of various diseases, how to end an interview, how to gather all of the gathered information into a diagnosis, and how to present the information in an efficient way. The appendixes provide detailed examples of the interview process and various examples of types of questions that can be used in an interview.
Assessment: When I was starting my patient interviews, I simply read different books on interviews for all areas with specific instructions for each of the different areas of medicine, with the result that psychiatry was covered in one paragraph. With this book, I found it easy to identify with the examples and I appreciated the advice for the more complicated scenarios, including patients who are resistant to an interview. However, as a resident, I feel that this book is much too basic and not necessarily useful for someone trying to hone one's skill. Although this book is ideal for students going into mental health for the first time, this is also a very stressful time for young clinicians and they may find themselves hard pressed to be able to complete it before they are overwhelmed with all the other responsibilities in a rotation. This book could be used by students as they progress through their education.