Description: This is the fourth edition of a book that presents many of the basic concepts, principles, and practices of the specialty of psychiatry. The previous edition was published in 2005.
Purpose: The authors seek to update readers' basic understanding of the assessment and management of most major psychiatric disorders.
Audience: Though potentially useful for updating practitioners' knowledge base or for assisting in a quick, global review of a general topic, this book's primary audience is those attempting to become familiar with the specialty, namely medical students, residents, or readers in related health fields.
Features: The book is divided into four major sections on the assessment and management of various psychiatric disorders and includes discussion of four specific groups (children and adolescents, older adults, individuals with learning disabilities, and individuals with physical disorders). Each chapter contains case studies, as well as colorful tables, charts, graphs, and figures, and ends with a brief list of resources for further reading. A brief final chapter addresses the importance of physicians' maintaining their own sense of physical and psychiatric well-being.
Assessment: The authors have attempted to integrate as much clinical information as possible to highlight important concepts and illustrate complicated ideas. The book is stylistically pleasing and easy on the eyes, which is welcome. The graphs, diagrams, and tables add to the discussion and provide a comfortable break from the reading. The book's main drawbacks, from the perspective of a U.S. reviewer, include its limited list of references and its primary focus on populations in the U.K., making it unclear how much of the presented data is cross-cultural or multinational.