Reviewed by Arden D. Dingle, MD
As an educator who still considers textbooks essential tools because of their utility as starting points for learning and exploration, I am pleased that the new edition of Lewis's Child and Adolescent Psychiatry has arrived. The current version lives up to its title; it remains a basic text that provides an overview of child and adolescent psychiatry that is useful and accessible for students and practitioners.
The fourth edition has been significantly reorganized but still manages to be about 400 pages shorter, with major enhancements in certain subject areas. As in all revisions, some of the book's content has been considerably enhanced with necessary additions, while other sections have been condensed or eliminated. There is clear emphasis on the biology and science of child and adolescent psychiatry as well as on evidence-based medicine. Unfortunately, many of the chapters on various aspects of development and some environmental issues are no longer included.
Some notable additions in the first section include Chapter 1 on the art of child and adolescent psychiatry and Chapter 6 on the funding of care. There is a section on research meth- odology that provides straightforward explanations of basic research and statistical terms and methods, and it covers the concepts and approach of evidence-based medicine. The assessment section now has a chapter on formulation and integration, which are key areas of psychiatric practice. Many of the chapters on psychiatric disorders effectively use tables, diagrams, and illustrations to supplement the text.
Lewis's Child and Adolescent Psychiatry remains a fairly complete and relatively detailed reference for most subjects relevant to child and adolescent psychiatrists; the book has many features that enhance its use. The chapters are brief with many references. It is very readable and is convenient enough to use as a basic textbook or as a reference. Also, the book comes with access information to the online version, printed on the inside cover.
Dr Dingle is training director of child and adolescent psychiatry at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. *