BOOK REVIEWS: Clinical Manual of Eating Disorders

Reprinted from Eating Disorders Review
July/August 2007 Volume 18, Number 4
©2007 Gürze Books

Clinical Manual of Eating Disorders

Editors: Joel Yager, MD and Pauline S. Powers, MD, Eds
482 pages, $54.00
©2007 American Psychiatric Publishing
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The Clinical Manual of Eating Disorders extends and elaborates on the newly revised American Psychiatric Association’s Practice Guidelines for the Treatment of Patients With Eating Disorders. It is written by the leading experts in the field and edited by Joel Yager and Pauline Powers, who also authored or coauthored six of the 16 chapters. Other distinguished authors include Drs. Arnold Andersen, Michael Devlin, Katherine Halmi, David Herzog, Allan Kaplan, Daniel le Grange, James Lock, James Mitchell and Kathryn Zerbe.

The book begins with a chapter on the diagnosis, epidemiology, and clinical course of eating disorders. Next is a look at initial treatment approaches that covers physical status, eating disorders behaviors, comorbidities, and how to choose the initial treatment site. The third chapter turns to psychiatric care beliefs comorbidity, and discusses prevalence and treatment modifications for both Axis I and Axis II disorders.

The next several chapters view management issues. The chapter on the management of anorexia nervosa (AN) in the hospital setting discusses medical indications, psychosocial treatments, and discharge criteria. Chapters on the management of anorexia nervosa in the ambulatory setting and on the management of bulimia nervosa (BN) and eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS), address treatment goals, psychotherapy, and pharmacological approaches.

A number of chapters offer an in-depth focus on specific treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy and psychodynamic management. A chapter on family therapy outlines and evaluates treatments for adolescents and adults with AN, BN, and EDNOS. A number of chapters highlight topics not included in the APA Practice Guidelines, including medication-related weight changes, psychiatric aspects of bariatric surgery, night eating and related syndromes, and treatment of patients with chronic intractable eating disorders.

The manual also takes a wide-ranging look at eating disorders in specific populations. This includes a chapter on athletics and eating disorders that provides a parents’ guide to student athletes and eating disorders. Other special populations discussed include patients with diabetes mellitus, pregnancy, males with eating disorders, and those “nontraditional-age” patients.

The book is up to date and provides many useful tables. For example, in the chapter on “Family Treatment,” the authors provide separate tables on types of family therapy, phases in the interventions in family-based treatment, and evidence supporting the use of family therapy for eating disorders. Some of the many other informative tables are on topics such as “the similarities between good athletic traits and anorexic characteristics,” and “resources for patients with chronic intractable eating disorders and their families.”

The book also provides a series of excellent illustrations, especially in the chapter on bariatric surgery. Another useful feature is the Appendix, which includes the entire 18-page Eating Disorder Questionnaire (EDQ version 9.0).

In summary, the Clinical Manual of Eating Disorders is a wonderful resource that can provide concise, comprehensive, and practical help for all clinicians working with people struggling with these challenging conditions.

— Russell Marx, MD

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