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By Usha R Rout and Jaya K Rout. (Pp 218; £38.50.) Kluwer/Plenum Publishers, 2002. ISBN 0-306-47240-6.***
The subject of this book, written by a general practitioner and research psychologist, is probably more pertinent today than at any other time in the past. Stress in primary health care professionals is so common that almost every general practice will have had some experience of it at first hand.
The book is reasonably easy to read and contains extensive analysis and references. It will therefore be particularly useful to readers who have an academic interest in stress related problems. It may, however, appeal less to the health professional who is seeking help from the book or who is reading it for general interest .
Following a definition of terms, there are chapters on types of occupational stress and the ways in which individuals perceive and cope with stress. Many case scenarios are used to illustrate points. These are well written and describe sources of stress in all members of the primary health care team. The familiar consequences of stress related illness are discussed. Readers have to wait until chapters 7 and 8 to read about strategies for the management of stress. Practical suggestions are made at both individual and organisational levels. They are ideally tailored to general practice and refer to evidence bases where available.
This book will provide a useful, although rather expensive, addition to a general practice library.
The reviewers have been asked to rate these books in terms of four items: readability, how up to date they are, accuracy and reliability, and value for money, using simple four point scales. From their opinions we have derived an overall “star” rating: * = poor, ** = reasonable, *** = good, **** = excellent.