Handbook of Clinical Rating Scales and Assessment in Psychiatry and Mental Health

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Handbook of Clinical Rating Scales and Assessment in Psychiatry and Mental Health Edited by Lee Baer and Mark A. Biais Humana Press, 2009, pp. 332, price euro106 ISBN: 978-I-58829-966-6

Most clinicians do not use rating scales routinely. The common reasons are time pressure, not knowing which scales to use, believing that rating scales are useful only in research settings and worrying whether scales will truly capture the important aspects of improvement in their patient.

This book attempts to address all these issues, since rating scales, according to the authors, not only facilitate targeted diagnoses and treatment, but also encourage links to empirical literature and systemize the entire management process. The purpose of this useful handbook is to provide the busy psychiatric clinician (psychiatrist, psychologist, social workers, GPs and others) with a practical guide to use in focused assessments.

The book includes "gold standard" rating scales, as well as screening tests in 13 mental health areas. There are ready-to-copy versions of the scales (when copyrights permit) and practical information about the clinical use.

Each author of the 15 chapters wrote about the latest information available concerning the characteristics of the scales (such as reliability, validity, and sensitivity to treatment induced change). There are short discussions about the relative strengths and weaknesses of the scales and other issues concerning the assessment such as how to minimize bias, and assessment across different age groups, cultures, education and comprehension levels. …