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Clinical Manual of Palliative Care Psychiatry

Nathan Fairman, M.D., M.P.H., Jeremy M. Hirst, M.D., and Scott A. Irwin, M.D., Ph.D.

  • ISBN 978-1-61537-061-0
  • Item #37061


In recent years, palliative care has emerged as the leading model of person-centered care focused on preserving quality of life and alleviating distress for people and families experiencing serious and life-limiting medical illness. Alongside this development has come a growing recognition of the need for expertise in psychiatric diagnosis, psychopharmacology, and psychotherapy within the interdisciplinary team of specialists tasked with identifying and addressing the varied sources of suffering in patients with advanced medical illnesses. The Clinical Manual of Palliative Care Psychiatry was written to motivate and guide readers—whether mental health clinicians or palliative care providers—to deepen their understanding of the psychosocial dimensions of suffering for the benefit of seriously ill patients and the support of their families.

Great care has been exercised in the choice of topics and features:

  • Chapter content emphasizes practical aspects of assessment and management that are unique to the palliative care setting, ensuring that clinicians are equipped to address the most common challenges they are likely to face.
  • Each chapter ends with a list of supplemental materials—including key publications (e.g., “Fast Facts” from the Center to Advance Palliative Care) and links to relevant modules from the Education in Palliative and End-of-Life Care curriculum (e.g., EPEC for Oncology)—aimed at extending and enhancing reader knowledge of the topics covered.
  • The authors provide thorough coverage of medication use, including off-label applications, which are common in palliative care.
  • A wealth of tables and figures present clinically relevant information in a concise and easy-to-grasp manner.

Practical and brimming with essential information and useful techniques, the Clinical Manual of Palliative Care Psychiatry empowers both mental health clinicians and palliative care practitioners to more skillfully respond to psychosocial suffering in seriously ill and dying patients.


  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • PART I: Background and Context
  • Chapter 1. Palliative Care 101
  • Chapter 2. Psychiatry in Palliative Care
  • PART II: Core Clinical Applications
  • Chapter 3. Depression
  • Chapter 4. Anxiety
  • Chapter 5. Delirium
  • PART III: Other Common Psychiatric Conditions
  • Chapter 6. Dementia (Major Neurocognitive Disorder)
  • Chapter 7. Insomnia
  • Chapter 8. Substance Use Disorders
  • PART IV: Interventions
  • Chapter 9. Psychotherapy
  • Chapter 10. Pain Management and Psychopharmacology
  • PART V: Pediatric Patients
  • Chapter 11. Children and Adolescents
  • Index

About the Authors

Nathan Fairman, M.D., M.P.H., is Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California Davis School of Medicine in Sacramento, California.

Jeremy M. Hirst, M.D., is Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Associate Director of Palliative Care Psychiatry, and Associate Director of Patient and Family Support Services at the Moores Cancer Center, University of California San Diego School of Medicine, in La Jolla, California.

Scott A. Irwin, M.D., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Director of Supportive Care Services at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, in Los Angeles, California.

The content of the Clinical Manual is extraordinarily expert, well structured, and well presented. The clearly written text, figures, and tables all provide critically important information to the psychiatric and palliative care clinician enabling her/him to rapidly enhance her/his knowledge, clinical judgment, and clinical care delivery.—Deane L. Wolcott, M.D., DLFAPA, FAPM, FAPOS, Director, Oncology Supportive Care Services, Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, Cedars- Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA

The Clinical Manual of Palliative Care Psychiatry expertly distills the essential knowledge and wisdom of this growing field in psychiatry. It identifies some of the most critical implicit aspects of working with seriously ill patients and makes them explicit and accessible. This book will be very useful to both psychiatry and palliative care clinicians.—William F. Pirl, M.D., MPH, FAPM, FAPOS, Director, Center for Psychiatric Oncology and Behavioral Sciences, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Past-President, American Psychosocial Oncology Society

Clinical Manual of Palliative Care Psychiatry is an important and welcome addition to the growing literature on an aspect of palliative care medicine that is at once a subspecialty and at the same time so universally applicable as to constitute a core competency. This is a very approachable clinical text. Readers will find well-written chapters concluding with key points, practical tables, and figures very useful to those new to the field.—Alan D. Valentine, M.D., Chair, Department of Psychiatry, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

This is an exceptionally useful book on the emerging subspecialty of palliative care psychiatry. Psychiatrists who work in psychosomatic medicine, consultation-liaison psychiatry, and neuropsychiatry should make themselves familiar with the concepts in this essential book. It is a welcome addition to the psychiatric literature.—Michael Schrift, D.O., Doody's Book Reviews

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