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Oxford Handbook Of Psychiatry - David Semple et al. (eds)

Rating: Rating: 4 out of 5


My favourite psych book so far!


Not really anything in the way of illustrations



Oxford University Press



A month or so ago, I reviewed Textbook Of Psychiatry and concluded that, the psychiatry course was rubbish but that the book itself was pretty good. Can the same be said for the Oxford Handbook of Psychiatry? Well, unless there’s been a dramatic overhaul of the psychiatry course at Leeds, I feel sure that it’s still pretty poor, so the first half of my previous review stands true for this title too… but how about the book itself?

The Oxford Handbook of Psychiatry covers all the major aspects of adult psychiatry, as well as delving into the common subspecialties, suck as elderly psychiatry, substance misuse, paediatrics and liaison psychiatry. Written in the usual Oxford Handbook style (perhaps with a little more text and a little less in the way of figures and illustrations), key conditions are outlined, in terms of key features, aetiology (where known), differential diagnosis and management. Helpfully, the text refers to the ICD-10 and DSM-IV codes throughout and even highlights any discrepancies, where appropriate. The book is also indexed by the ICD-10 and DSM-IV codes, as well as conventionally.

Explanations and applications of cognitive and behavioural therapies are given as much space and effort as the pharmaceutical therapies have and all are thoroughly discussed. From a practical point of view, this will prove an invaluable aid to planning patient management, since it has a section devoted to difficult patients to manage (e.g. people with renal problems or pregnancy); potential pitfalls are highlighted and solutions suggested.

This is a good book. While it lacks the useful ‘aide-memoir’-style diagrams of some of the more student-oriented texts, the information that it contains is relevant, detailed and presented in a clinical context.

If I was considering a career in psychiatry beyond medical school, this would definitely be the book that I’d go for but for the student who’s just trying to get through 4 th year, it’s a tough call between this and Textbook Of Psychiatry; either text would serve you well.

Reviewed By: Ian Anderson (06.09.2006)

Click below to purchase online, direct from the publisher:


Textbook Of Psychiatry - B. Puri, P. Laking & I. Treasaden Rating: 4 out of 5
Lecture Notes: Psychiatry - P.Harrison, J.Geddes & M.Sharpe
Rating: 3 out of 5
Alzheimer's Disease And Memory Loss Explained - A.Burns et al.
Rating: 2 out of 5