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CPNP POP Committee Member Submitting the Review: Leigh Anne Nelson, Pharm.D., BCPP

Book: Handbook of Psychiatric Measures

A. John Rush Jr., M.D., the Rosewood Corporation Chair in Biomedical Science and the Betty Jo Hay Distinguished Chair in Mental Health at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas.

Michael B. First, M.D., is Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and Research Psychiatrist at New York State Psychiatric Institute in New York, New York.

Deborah Blacker, M.D., Sc.D., is Assistant Vice Chair for Research; Director, Gerontology Research Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital East, Charlestown, Massachusetts; and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School, in Boston, Massachusetts.

The Handbook of Psychiatric Measures, Second Edition, offers a compendium of the most noteworthy, widely used, and important new efforts in clinical and research measures. Clinicians, researchers, and managed care administrators will have at their fingertips expert assessment of over 275 measures in a wide array of domains, including a review of each measure's clinical utility, goals, practical issues, and psychometric properties. Use of this special resource is further enhanced by a CD-ROM containing the full text of 150 of these measures--an invaluable aid for reference and clinical decision-making.

In this fully revised edition, more than 40 measures have been added to the discussion and to the CD-ROM. In addition to reassessing measures for inclusion--adding measures that empirically provide better patient evaluation and subtracting measures that have been superseded--chapter authors have thoroughly examined and revised measure discussions to provide the most relevant and timely information for clinicians. Costs, translations, and contact information for each measure have also been updated.

Introductory chapters provide background on the application of measures in specific contexts, including a discussion of cultural factors, psychometric properties, and the clinical selection of measures. Readers are then fully equipped with extensive coverage of general diagnostic measures for adults, and measures to evaluate psychiatric symptoms, mental and physical health status, quality of life, adverse effects, patient perceptions of care, stress and life events, family and relational issues, and suicide risk. Next, 17 disorder-specific chapters impart expert review of measures for disorders of childhood and adolescence, cognitive disorders, substance use, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, somatoform disorders, psychotic disorders, dissociative disorders, personality disorders, impulse-control, sexual dysfunction, eating disorders, sleep disorders, and aggression. Each chapter includes updated measure descriptions, new measure variants and research, and newly selected measures particularly appropriate to the domain of discussion.

The Handbook of Psychiatric Measures, Second Edition, promises to become one of the most-used and highly valued resources at a clinician's, researcher's, and administrator's disposal. Much more than a summary of measures, this revised edition provides the essential information to make better decisions about the use of a particular measure.

To my knowledge, this reference book compiles the most comprehensive collection of commonly used psychiatric rating scales (275 measures) and also includes a CD-ROM with 150 rating scales that are either in the public domain or for which permission to reprint in the reference book was granted. Although more expensive, this reference book is more comprehensive than Lexi-Comp's Rating Scales in Mental Health.

The book provides several introductory chapters that address use of rating scales in specific contexts. Introductory content includes strengths and limitations of rating scales, psychometric properties, ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic factors that influence their use and interpretation, and considerations when choosing a rating scale for use in a particular clinic or healthcare system. The rating scales within the book are well organized by domain.

General measures that encompass many domains are presented first followed by disorder-specific sections organized according to their order in the DSM-IV-TR. For each rating scales, six sections are discussed including Goals, Description, Practical Issues, Psychometric Properties, Clinical Utility, References and Suggested Readings. Although all of this information is of importance, I find the Practical Issues section to be particularly helpful as it difficult to obtain this type of information from a single source identified through a literature search. This section includes information on administration time, training requirements, directions on how to obtain the rating scales, cost, available translations and availability for computer administered versions. Additionally, the reference provides some information for interpreting results (i.e. mild, moderate, severe or the presence or absence of a disease).

This book is commonly used by psychiatric pharmacists, psychiatric pharmacy practice residents, and pharmacy students. Residents and pharmacy students find it particularly useful when reading the psychiatric literature and preparing for journal club presentations.

As a psychiatric pharmacist, I find it most helpful for finding information on less commonly used rating scales or rating scales specific to special populations. As psychiatry is moving towards measurement based care, this reference will serve all psychiatric healthcare providers as a solid resource.

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