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Book Reviews   |    
Treatment and Rehabilitation of Severe Mental Illness
Reviewed by Matthew R. Merrens, Ph.D.
Psychiatric Services 2005; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.56.2.224
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by William D. Spaulding, Ph.D., Marty E. Sullivan, M.S.W., and Jeffrey S. Pollard, Ph.D.; New York, Guilford Press, 2003, 386 pages, $45 softcover

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The authors of Treatment and Rehabilitation of Severe Mental Illness have succeeded in formulating an integrated model that will be useful to students and to professionals who provide mental health services to persons with severe mental illness. Part 1—the first three chapters—presents the authors' integrated paradigm, a review of the psychopathology of severe mental illness, and a discussion of assessment and rehabilitation planning. Part 2, which contains chapters 4 through 10, presents the authors' model for formulating a person's treatment and recovery plan on multiple levels, including physiological, cognitive, interpersonal, behavioral, and environmental levels. This section details treatment and rehabilitation strategies based on scientific effectiveness. Part 3—the final two chapters and the appendixes—covers administrative and management issues and presents a prototype and algorithm for assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation.

The major shortcoming of the book is the absence of any discussion of the role of evidence-based practices for severe mental illness. In recent years the role of evidence-based practices has received a great deal of attention, from the 1999 Surgeon General's report on mental health, which highlighted the importance of evidence-based practices, as well as from Psychiatric Services,which during 2001 focused on articles about evidence-based practices. In addition, the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health recently provided further support for the implementation of evidence-based practices for severe mental illness. The development of such practices will be an ongoing, dynamic process involving modifications to existing practices on the basis of research and the emergence of new practices. Evidence-based practices have begun to reform the treatment plans and recovery processes of persons with severe mental illness and, as such, seem to be an essential addition to the model that is presented in Treatment and Rehabilitation of Severe Mental Illness.

Dr. Merrens is visiting professor of psychiatry at Dartmouth Medical School in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

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