Kaplan & Sadock's Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 7th Edition

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Kaplan & Sadock's Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 7th Edition

Editors: Benjamin J Sadock, MD, Virginia A Sadock, MD. Lippincott Williams &Wilkins, Philadelphia, USA, 2000; 7th edition; Volumes 1 and 2 US$279; pp 3500; ISBN: 0-683-30128-4

It has been more than 3 decades since the first publication of the Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry in 1967. Over the years, more than 1500 behavioural scientists and psychiatrists have contributed to the subsequent editions of this book. This new edition contains 3334 pages in 2 large volumes, posing a challenge for anyone wishing to read the text in its entirety. The aim of this review is therefore to highlight important features of this book as a quick reference for busy readers.

This new edition follows the framework of previous editions but has been expanded significantly--it is 15% larger than the 6th edition and 60% of the contributors are new. Moreover, there are major additions to chapters covering neurosciences, neuropsychiatry, and behavioural neurology in volume 1, including developmental neurobiology, neurotrophic factors, and the use of radiotracers and magnetic resonance imaging. Neuropsychiatric aspects of neuromuscular diseases, traumatic brain injury, and brain tumours are also discussed, and there is a section on psychiatric aspects of child neurology. Important new sections have also been added on genetic linkage analysis of psychiatric disorders, and neuropsychiatric aspects of HIV and AIDS.

This edition is printed in soft-tone and delightful colour. The text is organised under clear and logical subheadings. The highly informative illustrations and tabulations have made difficult concepts easy to comprehend. Clinical materials are largely syndrome-oriented, based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders--IV (DSM-IV) classification with references to International Classification of Diseases Tenth Revision (ICD-10) from time to time. Other particularly commendable features of the book are the 'cross-references' given at the end of each subsection with the 6 most important references highlighted, as well as the inclusion of many psychiatric rating scales, which researchers will find extremely useful.

The text opens with in-depth chapters on basic neurosciences, psychology, and sociology, which will be, particularly useful for Member of the Royal College of Psychiatry Part II examination candidates. Following these are chapters on 'bread and butter' clinical psychiatry. Chapter 7 describes the examination of psychiatric patients, encompassing the psychiatric interview, history taking, mental status assessment, the psychiatric report, and typical signs and symptoms of psychiatric illnesses. Subsequent sections on personality and neuropsychological assessments for children and adults will be of great relevance to researchers.

Supplementing standard sections on medical assessment, laboratory testing, and psychiatric rating scales, there is a new section titled Computer-based Testing of the Psychiatric Patient. In the historical section, a fascinating chronology of famous psychiatric cases is given.

With DSM-IV in use for some time, this edition's Classification of Mental Disorders focuses more on nosological systems and the theory of classification than did the 6th edition. The chapters on Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders provide up-to-date clinical information, while the chapter on Mood Disorders has been expanded to include psychotherapy and the treatment of bipolar and depressive disorders. The current chapter on Anxiety Disorder is greatly expanded, providing an introduction and overview, and subsections on epidemiology, biochemical aspects, genetics, psychodynamic aspects, clinical features, somatic treatment, and psychological treatments. Dissociative disorders are covered in 5 distinct sections in accordance with the DSM-IV clinical entities.

While volume 1 deals with the more serious and common clinical problems, volume 2 covers topics at the interface between psychiatry and physical medicine. …