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Book Reviews

Clinical Manual of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 2nd ed

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edited by Molly McVoy, MD, and Robert L. Findling, MD, MBA. American Psychiatric Press, Washington, DC, 2013, 458 pages, $82.00 (paper).

Although the title of this book refers to it as a "clinical manual," it is much more than that. The book is organized according to diagnostic groupings, preceded by an introductory chapter on the developmental aspects of pediatric psychopharmacology. The following 8 chapters cover attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, disruptive behavior disorders/aggression, anxiety disorders, major depressive disorders, autism/pervasive developmental disorders, tic disorders, and early schizophrenia/psychotic illness.

This volume contains a total of 35 tables that provide a quick overview of the relevant published clinical investigations, or clinical guidelines for the use of pharmacologic agents for that particular disorder. These tables augment the text and provide a ready reference to the relevant published literature. The individual chapters are primarily structured around the most widely utilized pharmacologic agents for that disorder, including a summary of the published literature related to their efficacy.

The "clinical pearls" that appear at the end of each chapter include concise summaries that provide quick, clinical guidance for common issues related to the use of pharmacologic agents for the disorder. The tables, clinical guidelines, and clinical pearls make it possible to use the book as a clinical manual for day-to-day reference. However, the book also functions as a definitive reference for the diagnostic categories listed above.

A brief analysis of the references for each chapter indicates that many of them have in excess of 100 references, the majority of which are contemporary. Those references that are older were seminal articles that have historical significance.

Although the primary function of the book is to provide clinical guidance in the use of psychotropic medications for the diagnostic categories covered, the chapters do not limit themselves to that subject matter. For example, each chapter typically contains a section on the epidemiology of the disorders, as well as the differential diagnosis and natural history of the disorder. Thus, the discussion of potential pharmacologic treatments occurs in the context of the essential clinical elements of the specific diagnostic category.

The length of the chapters is, of course, related to the underlying diagnostic category. For example, the chapter on the treatment of tic disorders is, naturally, shorter than those on bipolar disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. The quality of the chapters is more uniform than might be expected from a book in which each chapter has a different set of authors. The uniformity reflects the editorial decision to utilize a similar format for each chapter, and it is obvious that the editors have carefully reviewed each manuscript. In addition, the authors of each chapter are nationally recognized experts in the subject matter they review.

An important aspect of a textbook of this nature is the quality of the index, and the lengthy 62-page index enables the reader to quickly and easily locate specific topics.

In summary, the Clinical Manual of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology serves not only as a quick guide to the use of pharmacologic agents, organized by diagnosis, but also as a well referenced, user-friendly guide to the underlying psychiatric disorder.

Edwin J. Mikkelsen, MD

mikk@comcast.net

Author affiliations: Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Potential conflicts of interest: None reported.

J Clin Psychiatry 2015;76(7):e899

dx.doi.org/10.4088/JCP.15bk10144

© Copyright 2015 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.

Volume: 76

Quick Links: Psychopharmacology

References