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DSM-5® Pocket Guide for Elder Mental Health

Sophia Wang, M.D., and Abraham M. Nussbaum, M.D., FAPA

  • ISBN 978-1-61537-056-6
  • Item #37056

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Many practitioners are hesitant to treat mental health issues in older adults, believing that special expertise is required to do so effectively. DSM-5 Pocket Guide for Elder Mental Health is based on the premise that all practitioners can acquire the confidence needed to work with older patients.

Primary care practitioners, clinical psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, psychiatric residents, and resident fellows are just some of the professionals who will benefit from memorable cases that illustrate how the presented information can quickly be applied to the reader's own patients, handy mnemonics that make complex diagnostic information easy to commit to memory, and informative tables that help readers easily locate DSM-5 information for billing purposes.

All of the information presented in this guide is grounded in real-world advice, so readers can be confident that the information provided is practical and clinically based as they learn how to

  • Perform 15- and 30-minute diagnostic interviews
  • Recognize the main elements of the most common mental health disorders
  • Reach an initial diagnosis
  • Engage patients in psychosocial, psychotherapeutic, and psychopharmacological treatment plans and work with caregivers
  • Know when to refer patients for additional subspecialty mental health treatment.

With expert consensus threaded throughout, DSM-5 Pocket Guide for Elder Mental Health is the ideal companion for trainees and seasoned professionals alike, who will find the thoughtful, practical information they need to efficiently and effectively employ DSM-5 as part of comprehensive diagnostic interview and treatment planning for their older patients.


  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Disclosures
  • SECTION I: Diagnosing and Treating Older Adults
  • Chapter 1. Introduction
  • Chapter 2. Addressing Behavioral and Mental Health Problems in Community Settings
  • Chapter 3. The Diagnostic Ds
  • Chapter 4. Beyond the Diagnostic Ds
  • Chapter 5. The 15-Minute Older Adult Diagnostic Interview
  • Chapter 6. The 30-Minute Older Adult Diagnostic Interview
  • SECTION II: Using DSM-5 With Older Adults
  • Chapter 7. The DSM-5 Older Adult Diagnostic Interview
  • Chapter 8. A Brief Version of DSM-5
  • SECTION III: Additional Tools and Initial Treatments
  • Chapter 9. A Stepwise Approach to Differential Diagnosis
  • Chapter 10. The Mental Status Examination
  • Chapter 11. Selected DSM-5 Assessment Measures
  • Chapter 12. Rating Scales and Alternative Diagnostic Systems
  • Chapter 13. Psychoeducational Interventions
  • Chapter 14. Psychosocial Interventions
  • Chapter 15. Psychotherapeutic Interventions
  • Chapter 16. Psychopharmacological Interventions
  • Chapter 17. Brain Stimulation Therapies
  • Chapter 18. Mental Health Treatment Planning
  • Chapter 19. Conclusion
  • References
  • Index

About the Authors

Sophia Wang, M.D., is Medical Director of the Older Adult Mental Health Clinic at the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center and Assistant Clinical Professor at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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

This book is filled with useful, practical advice on how to evaluate and treat older adults with mental health needs. It provides directed approaches suitable for clinical practice, starting with screening and leading to a final diagnosis, proposing specific self-assessment tools that maximizes the effectiveness of clinical interactions.—Warren D. Taylor, M.D., MHSc, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Center for Cognitive Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

The DSM-5 Pocket Guide for Elder Mental Health is an easily understandable tool for psychiatric and non-psychiatric professionals. It captures the essence of geriatric principles including care coordination, functional status, and the well-being of the caregiver as well as the patient in the context of well-crafted case scenarios. Drs. Wang and Nussbaum have truly operationalized the DSM-5 for geriatric providers and patients.—Monica Tegeler, M.D.

Diagnosing older adults who present to clinicians with psychiatric symptoms is not easy, as emphasized by the authors. Yet diagnosis (now with DSM-5) is essential to good psychiatric care. Drs. Wang and Nussbaum have written a guidebook (in contrast to a textbook) which focuses specifically on applying diagnostic criteria to the elderly, criteria which in turn will guide the prescription of therapies from an ever increasing menu of options...As noted by the authors, this book is not a condensation of extant texts but rather complement, and a valuable one at that.—Dan G. Blazer, M.D., MPH, Ph.D., JP Gibbons Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center

Overall, this book is easy to read and provides a lot of utility in a small package. It is a concise guide to the diagnosis and treatment of mental health problems in elderly individuals according to the DSM-5. The rst section on interviewing techniques and proper diagnosis is well done and includes illustrative and interesting case vignettes. The book is compact and portable and great for carrying in your white coat and reading on the go, with short and easily digestible chapters, but, of course, it is consequently much less comprehensive than a textbook would be.—Eric A. Lee, M.D., and Iqbal Ahmed, M.D., Drs Lee and Ahmed are in the Department of Psychiatry, Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, HI, Journal of Psychiatric Practice Vol. 24, No. 3, 05/03/2018

This is a useful little book that offers practical advice on the diagnosis and treatment of older adults with psychiatric issues. Clinicians who are involved in the care of older individuals would benefit from knowing the clinical pearls this helpful book presents.—Michael Schrift, D.O., Doody's Book Review

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