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DSM-5® Pocket Guide for Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Robert J. Hilt, M.D., FAAP, FAACAP, FAPA, and Abraham M. Nussbaum, M.D. , FAPA

  • ISBN 978-1-58562-494-2
  • Item #62494

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Building on the best-selling Pocket Guide to the DSM-5 Diagnostic Exam, The DSM-5 Pocket Guide for Child and Adolescent Mental Health teaches readers how to formulate a diagnosis and treatment plan for this patient population. Because these patients are more likely to initiate mental health treatment in a primary care rather than specialty care setting, the authors pay particular attention to the practical exigencies of the primary care setting. Accordingly, chapters are devoted to topics such as diagnostically interviewing around different chief complaints; performing 15- and 30-minute versions of the diagnostic interview; recognizing developmental milestones and red flags for referral, and more. The book's structure is flexible, affording readers the freedom to read sections in their entirety for background or to use the guide on the fly, as with interview questions for specific diagnoses. The book is an essential reference for primary care physicians, pediatricians, residents in training, and general psychiatrists, and other practitioners caring for children and adolescents experiencing mental distress and mental illness.

The authors have designed the book with a variety of useful features:

  • Multiple tables and figures make expert advice readily accessible, including tables for developmental milestones, common clinical concerns, and medications.
  • Brief supplements to the diagnostic interview are presented, including an easy-to-use summary of DSM-5 disorders, a stepwise approach to differential diagnosis, the mental status examination and a psychiatric glossary, DSM-5-related diagnostic tools and scales, and coverage of alternative diagnostic systems and rating scales.
  • A seven-step sequential framework for generating a differential diagnosis helps clinicians develop their clinical decision-making skills and ensure that they take into account the many and interrelated causes of mental disorders.
  • Initial psychosocial recommendations are included for such topics as sleep hygiene and behavior management.

Recognizing that clinicians need to use DSM-5 criteria and evidence-based treatment protocols to formulate treatment plans, the authors designed this book for all levels of experience. Direct, practical, and informative, The DSM-5 Pocket Guide for Child and Adolescent Mental Health will enable readers to efficiently and effectively use DSM-5 as part of a comprehensive diagnostic interview and treatment planning.


  • Preface
  • Chapter 1. Introduction
  • Chapter 2. Addressing Behavioral and Mental Problems in Community Settings
  • Chapter 3. Common Clinical Concerns
  • Chapter 4. The 15-Minute Pediatric Diagnostic Interview
  • Chapter 5. The 30-Minute Pediatric Diagnostic Interview
  • Chapter 6. DSM-5 Pediatric Diagnostic Interview
  • Chapter 7. A Brief Version of DSM-5
  • Chapter 8. A Stepwise Approach to Differential Diagnosis
  • Chapter 9. The Mental Status Examination: A Psychiatric Glossary
  • Chapter 10. Selected DSM-5 Assessment Measures
  • Chapter 11. Rating Scales and Alternative Diagnostic Systems
  • Chapter 12. Developmental Milestones
  • Chapter 13. Mental Health Treatment Planning
  • Chapter 14. Psychosocial Interventions
  • Chapter 15. Psychotherapeutic Interventions
  • Chapter 16. Psychopharmacological Interventions
  • Chapter 17. Ideas for Practice, Education, and Research
  • References
  • Index

About the Authors

Robert J. Hilt, M.D., FAAP, AACAP, is Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, at the University of Washington and Director, Partnership Access Line at Seattle Children's Hospital.

Abraham M. Nussbaum, M.D., AACAP, is Director of the Denver Health Adult Inpatient Psychiatry Service and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

This book is a compendium, in 170 pages, of practical clinical wisdom regarding the assessment and treatment of psychiatric problems in children and adolescents. It is a highly useful translation and expansion of DSM-5 for the pediatric population, where familial, developmental, environmental, and contextual factors make the diagnostic process especially challenging. Drs. Hilt and Nussbaum's calm and exquisitely clear prose makes this volume a delight to read no matter what one's discipline or level of training.—Gregory K. Fritz, M.D., Professor and Director, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Vice Chair, Dept. of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Academic Director, E.P. Bradley Hospital, Associate Chief and Director of Child Psychiatry, Rhode Island Hospital/Hasbro Children's Hospital

This book is much more than an excerpt or summary of the sections of DSM-5 which are particularly relevant to children and adolescents. Instead, the authors have created a practical guide and real world tool to facilitate the diagnostic assessment of young patients. I am confident it will prove to be a useful resource for both trainees and practicing clinicians.—David Fassler, M.D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, University of Vermont, College of Medicine

This book takes an intensely practical approach to initial diagnosis and management of behavioral health problems in children and youth, making it useful for any clinician who provides care to children in an outpatient setting. It has the same degree of empathy for the clinicians using it that we all hope to provide for the children and families we care for.—Christopher Stille, M.D., MPH, Professor and Section Head, General Academic Pediatrics, University of Colorado School of Medicine/Children's Hospital Colorado

Robert Hilt and Abraham Nussbaum have written an efficient and effective guide to the mental health interview and use of DSM-5 with children and adolescents. Together with the handy tables provided regarding treatments, this summary and explanation of the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria and detailed guide to the clinical interview will be useful to all clinicians working with youth, especially those in primary care. The authors emphasize that when evaluating a young patient, the practitioner must consider all aspects, not only of the patient, but also of the family, school, and community, and develop the relationship before launching into a symptom checklist.—Mina K. Dulcan, M.D., Head, Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences & Pediatrics, Northwestern University

Hilt and Nussbaum's DSM-5 Pocket Guide is an outstanding, user -friendly, clinically meaningful interpretation of disorders relevant to those of us evaluating and treating children and adolescents. It provides not only youth-specific information on the disorders; it provides very useful ways of soliciting the information as well as guidelines for treatment planning, and psychopharmacologic and psychosocial treatments. Think of the volume as cutting the huge plate of child and adolescent diagnosis, psychopathology and treatment into bite-sized and easy to swallow pieces! Clinicians caring for the mental health of children shouldn't be without it!—Gabrielle A. Carlson, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, Stony Brook University School of Medicine, Putnam Hall-South Campus

This is a helpful, concise resource for busy clinicians. Given its portable size, it can easily fit into a lab coat pocket for use on the wards. Many practitioners will find the book helpful, as it organizes a lot of important information in one place while providing references if more detailed information is necessary. This book is unique, as it offers information specifically for child and adolescent mental health.—Rekha Bandla, DO, Doody's Book Review

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