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Quick Reference to the American Psychiatric Association Practice Guidelines for the Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders

Compendium 2006

American Psychiatric Association

  • Item #2393

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This book contains Quick Reference Guides (QRGs) to all of the published APA Practice Guidelines. QRGs are created by abstracting the crucial information from the text of the full guideline, with greatest emphasis placed on retaining the material most directly relevant to the treatment decision making, and are intended for day-to-day work with patients.

This compendium contains 13 Quick Reference Guides:

  • Acute Stress Disorder and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
  • Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias of Late Life
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Delirium
  • Eating Disorders
  • Major Depressive Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Psychiatric Evaluation of Adults
  • Schizophrenia
  • Substance Use Disorders
  • Suicide

Each guide is derived from the full text of a practice guideline developed by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and published originally in The American Journal of Psychiatry. The purpose of these QRGs is to facilitate clinical use of APA's practice guidelines by physicians. Although the practice guidelines provide detailed recommendations for treatment and comprehensively describe the evidence to support those recommendations, their length and text format do not allow for easy use in the psychiatrist's day-to-day work with patients.

Crucial information is abstracted from the full guideline to ensure that the QRG closely follows the wording of the parent guideline. The abstracted text is then shortened further, with greatest emphasis placed on material most directly relevant to treatment decision making. Thus, material about diagnosis, epidemiology, and other background information is not included. Similarly, because of constraints on length, most of the information regarding treatment for special populations is excluded. The QRG is reviewed and approved by the Executive Committee for Practice Guidelines.

Central to proper use of these QRGs is recognition that they do not stand alone. The psychiatrist using them should be familiar with the full-text practice guideline on which each QRG is based. For clarification of a recommendation or for a review of the evidence supporting a particular strategy, the psychiatrist will find it helpful to return to the guideline. With rare exception the QRG faithfully reflects the content of the guideline. Exceptions are specifically noted in the QRG.

Each quick reference guide presents the major recommendations and their sequencing with enough detail to be both clinically helpful and practical to use.


  • Statement of intent. Introduction. Psychiatric evaluation of adults. Delirium. Alzheimer's disease and other dementias of late life. HIV/AIDS. Substance use disorders. Schizophrenia. Major depressive disorder. Bipolar disorder. Panic disorder. Acute stress disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder. Eating disorders. Borderline personality disorder. Suicidal behaviors.

This thick (almost 3 inches) 1600-page book provides what is probably the best single current source of information about evaluation and treatment of the psychiatric disorders it covers and reflects the extensive evidence available on those topics. The timeliness, description of the literature search process, and specification of levels of evidence for conclusions and recommendations are certainly superior to most textbooks.[T]his volume is a wonderful source of carefully evaluated, evidence-based information regarding the evaluation and treatment of a number of common psychiatric disorders. It should be helpful for clinicians, medical students, trainees, and, ultimately and most importantly, for patients.—Richard M. Glass, M.D., JAMA, 1/1/2006

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