Reviewer: Michael Schrift, DO (University of Washington School of Medicine)
Description: Patients with bipolar disorder often do not receive evidence-based treatments. The mainstay of treatment has been almost exclusively pharmacotherapy. However, there is empirical research over the past 10 years that shows effectiveness of psychosocial treatments in bipolar disorder. Unfortunately, this has not been translated to the bedside or office setting. This second edition provides a comprehensive evidence-based approach to providing a supplemental psychosocial treatment program to these patients.
Purpose: The aim of the book, as stated by the editors, is "to provide the practitioner with an evidence-based, comprehensive, integrated approach to the treatment of bipolar disorder that is practical, easily accessible, and can be readily applied in clinical practice." Indeed, the editors have produced a very useful guide to psychosocial treatments in clinical practice.
Audience: The target audience includes psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric social workers, psychiatric residents, and any mental health professionals involved in the care of patients with bipolar disorder.
Features: The first part of the book includes a description of the problems with a discussion of terminology, definitions, classification and diagnosis, epidemiology, course and prognosis, differential diagnosis, major depressive disorders, substance-induced mood disorders, disruptive mood regulation disorder, psychotic disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, personality disorders, medical illnesses that could alter mood, diagnostic procedures and assessment tools, mania, bipolar depression, and implications for clinical practice. The theories and models of bipolar disorder are presented in chapter 2. Chapter 3 reviews the diagnosis and treatment indications, and includes a decision tree determining optimal treatments and treatment options for young adults, for potentially self-damaging behaviors, for repeated episodes of mania/hypomania despite medication adherence, for poor recognition of symptoms, and for persistent subsyndromal depression. The final section reviews treatments and include sections on biological approaches, psychosocial approaches, the structure and course of psychosocial treatment, family-focused treatment, self-help approaches and recovery model, combating social stigma, mechanisms of action of psychosocial approaches as well as efficacy and prognosis, managing suicide risk, improving treatment adherence, and treatment of co-occurring substance use disorders. This is a scholarly book with pertinent and timely citations of the scientific literature. The useful appendix section contains practical tools for everyday practice including a treatment agreement, checklist for session agenda, activity schedule, activity log, mood chart, identifying signs of depression or mania, identifying early, middle, and late signs of depression or mania, "unhelpful thought record," coping and wellness plan, and self-help resources.
Assessment: The second edition of this very practical and useful guide book provides an evidence-based approach to psychosocial treatments for bipolar disorder. Patients deserve the most effective treatments and this book will help practitioners provide those treatments. Written and edited by nationally recognized clinician-researchers in the field, this is a welcome addition to the psychiatric literature.