Review by Arun V Ravindran, MD, PhD, FRCPC
First, the editors should be complimented on their selection of an eminent
group of contributors from different parts of the world, producing a volume
with a truly international perspective. As the preface and the title suggest,
this book attempts to provide a practical guide to diagnosing, assessing,
and managing obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) in a clinical setting.
With increasing public awareness has come greater demand for its treatment
and an obvious need for increased participation of primary care physicians
and allied health professionals. This publication is therefore timely.
At 182 pages with 14 chapters, the volume is “user friendly.” It starts
by outlining classification, epidemiology, and common comorbidities. This
is followed by a description of assessment tools and their application
in clinical settings. The subsequent chapters on the clinical presentations
present a wealth of material in an interesting fashion that emphasizes
the common core phenomena, as well as the variations in both OCD and OCD
spectrum disorders. The next set of chapters summarizes the role of etiological
factors: genetics, neuroanatomy, and pathophysiology. Here, the authors
succeed in translating rather complex research data into simple, easily
understood material for clinicians. They conclude that a better understanding
of the biological and psychosocial substrates underlying the core symptoms
will contribute significantly to the development of more effective treatments.
Treatment information is covered in the chapters entitled “Pharmacotherapy,”
“Psychotherapy,” and “Treatment of Refractory OCD.” Emphasizing the common
methods and agents, yet including up-to-date information from research
studies and references, the material is well presented in a logical sequence.
Similarly, the chapter on the disorder in children and adolescents is very
informative. Chapter 13 synthesizes material from previous chapters, emphasizing
the contribution of brain-mood interaction to psychopathology and treatment
response, as well as the need for further etiological research. Finally,
a novel chapter on a patient’s perspective completes the book.
This volume does not suffer the common problem of multiauthor books. The
topic is well covered, with no major omissions, and the depth is appropriate
to its aim. Most chapters are well written and succinct, and the flow from
chapter to chapter makes it an easy read.
This is not an authoritative or a comprehensive review of the current state
of knowledge on OCD. It is what it claims to be: an easy-to-use, practical
guide written by clinicians for clinicians. Primary care physicians and
allied health professionals will find it particularly helpful. I also recommend
it for trainees (in particular, to residents and graduate students) for
use in treatment units, and even for the more sophisticated consumer.
Rating Scale/ Échelle dévaluation du réviseur
Excellent / Excellent
Very Good / Très bon
Good / Bon
Fair / Passable
Not recommended / Pas recommandé