Verwoerdt's Clinical Geropsychiatry, 3rd ed. Bienenfeld D (ed), Baltimore, Williams & Wilkins, 1990, 314 pages, hardcover.
This book is divided into three sections: Normal Aging, Psychopathology of Aging, and Treatment of the Aging Patient. According to the foreword, it is designed to present a practical clinical approach and a humane point of view in psychiatric care of the elderly.
Section I, Normal Aging, provides a synopsis of the physical and psychological theories of aging. The physiological changes expected in the body systems are described. The impact of age on cognitive function - learning, memory, and intelligence - is also discussed.
Section II, Psychopathology of Aging, begins with the evaluation of the elderly patient and proceeds to discuss psychiatric disorders. The discussions relate specifically to elderly patients. For example, changes in criteria for diagnoses related to aging are explored, as are changes in specific treatments.
Section III, Treatment of the Aging Patient, proceeds from a discussion of treatment planning through general treatments such as psychotherapy, psychopharmacy, and electroconvulsive therapy to principles of consultation-liaison. This section concludes with a chapter on the role of psychiatry in nursing homes.
Clinical Geropsychiatry is intended as a textbook for general psychiatrists, residents, fellows, and primary care physicians. Although each chapter has a different author, there is minimal repetition. It is well-organized and information is presented clearly. Nurses and other professionals working with the elderly will find the information pertinent to their practices.