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Helping People with Eating Disorders. A Clinical Guide to Assessment and Treatment.
  1. T KIANA, Consultant Child and Family Psychiatrist
  1. Northampton, UK

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    Helping People with Eating Disorders. A Clinical Guide to Assessment and Treatment. By Bob Palmer. (Pp £17.99; 273.) John Wiley & Sons, 2000. ISBN 0-471-98647-X.****

    A multitude of books on eating disorders have been written in the last two decades. Bob Palmer's vast experience in this field easily sets this book apart. Although an overview and not a detailed study of eating disorders, it adopts a pragmatic approach and contains down-to-earth knowledge, thus becoming an invaluable tool for clinicians.

    The text is free from dubious research and theoretical frameworks and focuses mainly on the daily clinical work with sufferers. It is divided in two parts. In part I, an account of several pathogenetic factors is given, but the multifactorial nature of the disorders is emphasised. Part II outlines their management. Some of the strongest points of this part are the focus on specific management issues, such as hindrances in progress or making help meaningful and accessible to patients, as well as on general aspects of running a comprehensive eating disorders' service. The use of case scenarios, metaphors, and tables enhance clarity. Although the author points out that the focus of this book is on adult patients, a great deal of the knowledge provided is also applicable to adolescents.

    This is an all inclusive, clear, and practical book. It would be useful not only to those who work closely with patients but also to other health professionals, as a means of understanding sufferers and the services available to them. Its concise volume and affordable price makes it accessible to all.