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Concise Guide to Assessment and Management of Violent Patients, Second Edition

Kenneth Tardiff, M.D., M.P.H.

  • ISBN 978-0-88048-344-5
  • Item #8344

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Clinicians encounter violent patients in any treatment setting—from private offices and medical units to psychiatric inpatient units. Written by one of the foremost experts on violence, the second edition of this concise, practical guide provides psychiatry residents, psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals with vital information required to manage potentially violent patients. Considerably updated, this book contains current information on psychopharmacology and the management of violent patients, an expanded section on the safety of clinicians, and a new section on how to deal with threats of violence to the clinician. This guide will be especially useful and relevant to psychiatric residents, given the number of violent patients they encounter.


  • Introduction. Causes of human violence. Clinician safety. Seclusion and restraint. Use of emergency medication. Extended evaluation of violent patients. Long-term medication. Long-term psychotherapy. Behavior therapy. Short-term prediction of violence. Legal issues in the management of violent patients. Index.

About the Authors

Kenneth Tardiff, M.D., M.P.H., is Professor of Psychiatry and Public Health at the Payne Whitney Clinic, The New York Hospital—Cornell Medical Center, New York, New York.

The second edition of Tardiff's Concise Guide to Assessment and Management of Violent Patients will be welcome by all psychiatrists in clinical practice because it fills an urgent need for information that is not available in standard texts. Textbooks usually provide very little information on this topic; the information is scattered across numerous chapters. Tardiff's systematic approach has resulted in a user-friendly, practical guide that is a suitable source of quick and correct answers to problems related to violence. The second edition updates reflect recent progress in this area, particularly in the psychopharmacology of aggression.—Jan Volavka, M.D., Ph.D., Chief, Clinical Research Division, Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Orangeburg, New York, Professor of Psychiatry, New York University Medical Center

The Concise Guide to the Assessment and Management of Violent Patients is a well-written introduction to aggression management. The book gives an excellent overview of the differential diagnosis for violent behavior and succinctly reviews the epidemiology of violence. Its greatest value, however, lies in the superb chapters dealing with the interpersonal issues of managing aggressive patients and the psychological and biological treatments of these patients. The chapters on psychological and biological treatments describe the critical interventions which are necessary to attenuate escalating behavior and avert violent events. The book is filled with important clinical pearls and reflects Dr. Tardiff's own rich clinical experience. Each chapter gives the reader excellent references for a more detailed review of the literature. The other great value in this book is that the chapters are concise enough so that the book can be used as an immediate reference for residents on call in the emergency department or on an inpatient unit. This book should be mandatory reading for all first and second year residents. The book also provides a quick overview for more seasoned clinicians who wish to reacquaint themselves with the major concepts in aggressive management.—William R. Dubin, M.D., Director, Clinical Services, Belmont Behavioral Health, Assoc Chairman, Dept of Psychiatry, Albert Einstein Med Center, Professor of Psychiatry, Temple Univ School of Med

Sometimes books stop being used because they are perceived as 'dated.' Dr. Tardiff's Assessment and Management of Violent Patients published in 1989 should not have been one of those books. It has become a classic in the concise early training for young psychiatrists and other related mental health personnel who come in daily contact with assaultive patients. With the second edition of Assessment and Management, Dr. Tardiff warded off the risk of a 'dated handbook' and has kept his text current. This edition is strengthened over the first in attention to clinician safety and in the inclusion of a discussion of serotonin-enhancing medications. It remains strong in the discussion of the extended evaluation of the violent patient. References are selective and well-chosen to provide additional reading sources for topics of interest. This second edition sustains its position as a 'must' in every resident's library and in the libraries of every residency or mental health training program across the country. It still is the handbook against which any other practical writings on the management of the violent patient will need to be compared. Both the teachers and the students in the area of assessment and treatment of the violent patient need to count this as one of their 'I have read' books. Don't miss it.—Burr S. Eichelman, M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Chairman, Department of Psychiatry, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

This second edition of Tardiff's Concise Guide to Assessment and Management of Violent Patients is exactly that: concise, thorough, clearly and well-written, of enormous potential, constructive and life-protecting potential for patients and health care workers in every psychiatric site whether in a psychiatrist's office, a hospital emergency room, or, increasingly likely, a primary care health clinic. All trainees, whether medical, nursing, dental, allied health, social work, psychology, and pastoral care, including law clerks, and clearly benefit from careful repeated reading and rest one in pocket placement. Specifics such as how to appropriately respond to a violent patient with words and physical movements, as well as medications, most useful based on history, lab, and physical diagnoses, side effects, the specifics of what and how to do what and when and why, makes this an invaluable medical text which will be worn out by the time the next edition appears. . . . Even school administrators and teachers, as well as employers, would benefit from reading some chapters, especially how to speak to acutely violent patients and to take their threats seriously.—Leah J. Dickstein, M.D., Professor, Associate Chair for Academic Affairs, Director, Division of Attitudinal and Behavioral Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Associate Dean for Faculty and Student Advocacy, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, Kentucky

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