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From The CriticsReviewer: Jeffrey S. Ross, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This book on treatment of depression in managed care is the latest addition to a series addressing changes in mental health practice resulting from managed care.
Purpose: The stated purpose is to discuss the managed care context as it affects treatment of depression. Although this is certainly a worthy objective, the subject is too diverse and ill-defined to be adequately covered in a ten-chapter, paperback book. At times, various treatment modalities (i.e., biological treatments) are reviewed in such little detail as to merely represent an outline, whereas at other times, the link to managed care is not clear.
Audience: According to the two authors, both of whom are nonmedical therapists and administrators, the target audience is the mental health practitioner. This is clearly misstated, as this book is strongly biased toward psychological evaluation and treatment of depression. Although this approach may be helpful to the therapist treating a mildly depressed "client" through managed care, it is of no benefit to the primary care physician or psychiatrist who is faced with "curing" a suicidally depressed patient in no more than four treatment visits.
Features: The book consists of text almost exclusively. And although it reads rather quickly, it seems to lack sufficient subheadings to help organize the material and guide the reader. In fact, the content seems more organized around the personal thoughts and experiences of the authors than around a thoroughly researched, thoughtfully arranged textbook. The scanty references and index would seem to support such a view.
Assessment: This book holds little if any value for the primary care physician or psychiatrist who needs practical guidance on the treatment of depression in managed care. It is written by therapists for therapists, and seems to lack sufficient organization, direction, or completeness to be very helpful even to them. Purchase of this book is not recommended.