The current edition of the American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Geriatric Psychiatry is the first that has not involved Dr. Ewald W. Busse, the senior editor for the first two editions. Dr. Busse died very soon after the publication of the last edition. We were thankful that he was able to see the product of his work, and he had a copy by his bedside at his death. Drs. Blazer and Steffens hope to continue the eclectic, interdisciplinary, and developmental perspective, which was so important to Dr. Busse, in subsequent editions including this one. We therefore dedicate this edition to the memory of Dr. Busse.
Many new findings now inform our field, and this edition reflects those changes. The reader will find more new material and alterations of existing materials. The first edition of this textbook, entitled Geriatric Psychiatry, was published in 1989; the second edition was published with the title The American Psychiatric Press Textbook of Geriatric Psychiatry in 1996; and a third edition with the same title appeared in 2004. The decision to publish a fourth edition rested on an appreciation of the enormous expansion of scientific knowledge about aging and the diseases of late life, as well as on advances in biological psychiatry and neuropsychiatry that have greatly altered the practice of geriatric psychiatry. The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Geriatric Psychiatry, Fourth Edition, is designed to provide both the scholar and the clinician with the current state of scientific understanding as well as the practical skills and knowledge base required for dealing with mental disorders in late life. Consequently, this volume covers not only the wide range of important mental diseases of late life but also the so-called normal age changes that result in biological, social, and behavioral changes in older adults.
As in previous editions, the chapters are presented in a sequential and integrated fashion, which we have found enhances the accessibility and usefulness of the information presented. The contributors include both basic and clinical scholars who have a clear ability to make complex material understandable to our readers. We maintained an eclectic orientation regarding theory and practice in geriatric psychiatry. Although most contributors are psychiatrists, we also called on colleagues from relevant biomedical and behavioral disciplines—especially for chapters covering the basic sciences—because of their expertise and ability to incorporate such knowledge into a comprehensive approach to patient care.
We targeted this text to psychiatrists and other health professionals who have an interest in and a commitment to older adults. This book is of particular value to candidates seeking certification in geriatrics from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, the American Board of Internal Medicine, and the American Board of Family Practice. All of these bodies' examinations place considerable emphasis on geriatric psychiatry and the behavioral aspects of aging.