Hong Kong J Psychiatry. 2001;11(3):24-25

BOOK REVIEW

Guide to Psychiatric Research

Editors: A Yuwiler, L Wetterberg.
CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton, Florida, 2000.
US$49.95; pp 138; ISBN: 0-8493-0295-1.


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With the introduction of Part III of the Hong Kong College Fellowship Examination, undertaking research has become a basic requirement in order to qualify as a psychiatrist in Hong Kong. Yet, at this point in time, medical training does not adequately cover the fundamental concepts and techniques necessar y for designing and conducting meaningful research. The availability of mentors with extensive research experience is also limited, requiring senior trainees to be more self-reliant with regards to research.

Many psychiatric textbooks contain little information on research methodology. There are a few comprehensive information compendiums on research methodology but these are too detailed, in turn, for the beginner. In contrast, Guide to Psychiatric Research is written in simple English, is easy to read, and can be finished in a couple of hours, yet covers the necessary material.

It presents concise information on how to refine a research idea into specific aims or hypotheses, select the right sample of subjects and controls, employ the correct instruments, and measure and analyse clinical and biological data, as well as how to write the research project, and deal with journal editors and funding bodies. To a beginner in research, the book serves as a step-by-step, ‘cookbook’ guide to devising a research protocol and writing a dissertation, as well as a quick reference when problems arise. Consequently, I would highly recommend this book for inclusion in the libraries of psychiatric hospitals and psychiatric units, as well as recommending it to any junior psychiatrist planning to embark on a research project.

Dr WK Tang Assistant Professor Department of Psychiatry,
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Hong Kong, China

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