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Current Psychiatric Therapy II
Reviewed by WAYNE A. BOWERS, M.D.
Am J Psychiatry 1998;155:849-849.
View Author and Article Information
Iowa City, Iowa

edited by David L. Dunner, M.D. Philadelphia, W.B. Saunders Co., 1997, 632 pp., $75.00.

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Edited works are difficult to produce, especially if they attempt to describe the totality of treatment issues in modern psychiatric thought. The challenge is to create a work that has high-quality information throughout the text but is easy to read. In Current Psychiatric Therapy II, the contributors and editor accomplish that balance. This book reads easily, and the majority of the chapters deliver clear, concise information about the treatment of psychiatric disorders. The majority of the chapters look at specific treatment approaches and how to be efficient in treatment while gaining understanding of recent treatment changes. This edition of the book includes comprehensive discussions of treatment issues and methods regarding a wide range of psychiatric disorders. It is extensive, encompassing 88 chapters divided into three sections.

Section 1 addresses the foundation of the various psychiatric disorders in 10 chapters describing basic principles in psychiatry and reviewing the measurement, psychobiology, and genetics of psychiatric disorders. The second section follows DSM-IV, covering problems related to diagnosis and treatment of specific clinical disorders. It contains 56 chapters, each of which has a brief literature review on the disorder and directly discusses treatment methods (that is, medication management) and issues related to treatment (blood level, use of psychosocial interventions). The third section discusses newer developments in psychiatry in 22 chapters. Here the emphasis is on the latest pharmacological approaches to treatment. Current Psychiatric Therapy II also has material not found in the first edition. New chapters include information regarding personality testing, cross-cultural issues in psychiatry, and medical issues such as treating pregnant women.

The chapters are no more than eight pages long, but they clarify the treatment of different disorders in this very limited amount of space. The most valuable chapters are those which focus on treatment of specific disorders. Chapters that are primarily literature reviews of recent research are valuable and interesting but do not add as much to the understanding of treatment as do more clinically oriented chapters. This book is succinct, comprehensive, and informative and would be extremely valuable as a general reference text.

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