Hong Kong J Psychiatry 2005;15:138-39


Seminars in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Second Edition

Editor: Gowers SG.
Gaskell (Royal College of Psychiatrists), United Kingdom, 2005.
US$60.00; pp370; ISBN: 1-904671-13-6

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This book serves as both a practical guide to help trainees through their first association with the subspecialty of child and adolescent psychiatry in their rotational training schemes, as well as a textbook to serve as a study aid.

This edition consists of 22 chapters that are grouped into 5 main parts. The first part is an introductory section cover- ing the history of child and adolescent psychiatry, normal child development, developmental theories, and influences on development. The second part discusses assessment,

classification, and epidemiology as well as the importance of diagnostic implications in the early stages of life. The third part consists of chapters covering each of the main specific disorders — developmental disorders, conduct disorders, disorders of attachments, anxiety and adjustment, depression, psychosis, substance misuse, and eating disorders. However, child psychiatric disorders are not de- scribed in a comprehensive manner and are only discussed briefly. Thus, supplemental texts or materials on the various disorders will have to be referred to by psychiatric trainees preparing for the MRCPsych examinations. The fourth part of the book provides information on the major risk factors for child psychiatric disorders. The fifth and final part covers the main methods of treatment including pharmaco- logical and psychosocial approaches and psychotherapy.

It has been 12 years since the publication of the first edition of Seminars in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Since then, the United Kingdom child and adolescent men- tal health services and postgraduate medical education have undergone considerable change. The second edition of this book has been extensively updated and extended, with a number of new chapters covering the major disorders and the range of service provisions. These include extensive discussions on the law in relation to children, principle of service delivery, and inpatient service provision. All of these issues are extremely important, particularly to the overseas psychiatric trainees preparing for the United Kingdom examinations. This information is not readily accessible in the existing literature, but is well addressed in this book.

The supplemental colour photographs showing paintings by children of various ages are particularly impressive. Vivid case scenarios are used throughout to illustrate the message of the text. The key points are highlighted in boxes, dis- played lists, tables, and figures. These are organised in a user-friendly format that enables the reader to access information readily.

The authors have succeeded in providing a highly compre- hensive introduction and practical guide to the assessment and management of children with psychiatric disorders. Trainees in psychiatry, pediatrics, and general practice will find it useful as an assessable introduction to the subject when they first start working with children with psychiatric disorders; as a continuing source of practical and concep- tual guidance when assessing and treating children with unfamiliar disorders; and as a comprehensive textbook when preparing for professional examinations. Trainees from other disciplines — psychology, nursing, social work, and education — will find that this book meets their needs when working with troubled children and helps them understand psychiatric perspectives on problems that often require interdisciplinary working. Finally, for established profes- sionals in many fields, this book should be an easy way to keep abreast of the current opinions, and a convenient source book for preparing teaching sessions and for references.

Dr May ML Lam
Medical Officer
Kwai Chung Hospital, Kwai Chung
Hong Kong


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