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Book Review

Book Review

Keith Cheng and Kathleen M. Myers (eds); Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2005
516 pages · $79.95 (hardcover)

Until recently, there has been a relative paucity in the selection of comprehensive child psychiatry textbooks for clinicians. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: The Essentials finds a place in this special niche by providing comprehensive yet practical information that can be used in a variety of settings.

Written for clinicians of varying backgrounds—from those in primary care to those in general psychiatric settings—this textbook is relevant, up-
to-date, and concise. It is an essential
addition to the library of any primary care clinician or psychiatrist who treats children and adolescents with mental illnesses. This textbook would also serve as a wonderful review for
a child psychiatrist who is preparing for the boards.

The textbook is divided into 4
sections. Section I, "Evaluation," has 3 chapters and describes the psychiatric and psychological assessment of youths who present for evaluation. Chapter 2, "Psychiatric Rating Scales: Theory and Practice," is particularly helpful because it succinctly reviews rating scales from a variety of symptom categories without getting excessively technical. The "Obtaining the Scales" listing at the end of this chapter offers direct information should readers wish to scrutinize the scales further.
Section II, "Psychiatric Disorders," makes up the bulk of the textbook. Chapters 4 through 16 cover the major categories of child/adolescent psychiatric illnesses. Of note, this textbook does not separate disorders that are first diagnosed in infancy from those that are diagnosed in childhood/adolescence, which is similar to DSM-IV format. The chapters in this section cover some of the most commonly seen psychiatric disorders in a primary care or general psychiatry office.

Section III, "Special Issues," focuses on timely issues in child/adolescent psychiatry such as suicidality, violence, traumatization, maltreatment, and custody evaluations. The chapters on suicidality and violence deserve special mention. Many practitioners without any formal psychiatric training may need to perform risk assessments of or treat patients with these disorders. Intense media attention on emotionally disturbed children and the issues surrounding their treatment make these assessments all the more important. After reading these chapters, practitioners may have a better understanding of how to approach these patients.

Section IV, "Treatment," addresses both psychopharmacologic and psychosocial treatments for children/adolescents. A chapter on the educational needs of this population is also quite helpful.

Other noteworthy features of this book are clinical vignettes that appear in most chapters, suggested readings (including Web sites), and practical and easy-to-read medication reference tables.


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