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Laboratory Medicine in Psychiatry and Behavioral Science
Author: Sandra A. Jacobson, M.D.
ISBN 13:
American Psychiatric Publishing
List Price: $75.00  APA Member Price: $60.00  705 Pages  Soft Cover 
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   MedicalScienceBooks.com Medical Book Review:

     Laboratory Medicine in Psychiatry and Behavioral Science is a reference handbook describing a list of common clinical chemistry, cardiac and imaging studies useful in the management of psychiatric patients.  Two additional chapters are also included which cover special considerations for monitoring patients who are prescribed specific psychotropic agents and manifestations of diseases that can impact on psychiatric disorder diagnosis.  The majority of the information in the book is organized into neatly constructed tables which follow a consistent template throughout each chapter for ease of use. 

     The aspect of this book that sets it apart from any number of clinical laboratory and drug guides is the effort on the part of the author to clearly state the relevance to psychiatric practice for each test that is discussed.  This makes for a more focused reference and in some cases may actually serve as a reminder for the healthcare provider to order a particular study prior to drug initiation.  The practical guidelines provided in this book are those that impact the level of efficacy of patient care at many levels, not the least of which is basic safety.  Many agents commonly prescribed by the behavioral health professional have notoriously long lists of side effects which can deteriorate normal cardiac and liver functioning as well as exacerbate risk factors for chronic disease. 

     Books such as Laboratory Medicine in Psychiatry and Behavioral Science highlight the need for psychiatrists to remain attentive to the general medical well-being of their patients while attending to their psychological needs.  For this reason, and the comprehensive coverage made available in the context of psychiatric practice, this book is highly recommended to all those involved in the care of patients who are receiving pharmaceutical therapy for their psychiatric conditions. 


Ratings (1-10 , 10 being the highest):

Overall Rating:


Author’s objectives met:



Organization of information: 10
Significant number of illustrations: 6
Suitable for intended audience: 9
Overall presentation: 8
Quality of illustrations: 6
Usefulness of book:   9
Value: 8
Writing style: 9


Laboratory medicine is a complex and changing field, and for the busy clinician, it is difficult to maintain an adequate working knowledge of current concepts and practices in this area—although this information is essential to excellent patient care. If you as a psychiatrist or behavioral health clinician have found yourself wondering what tests need to be performed before a new medication is initiated, what monitoring is required, or what an out-of-range laboratory value means in the behavioral medicine population, then this book is for you. If you need to remember how to diagnose SIADH or antiphospholipid syndrome or pellagra, or any other behavioral health condition diagnosed wholly or partly by lab testing, then this book is for you.

Laboratory Medicine in Psychiatry and Behavioral Science is the only current book of its kind on the market and the only place where psychiatrists and behavioral health clinicians can find content that is directly related to their work. The author's extensive experience in clinical psychiatry and neuropsychiatry informs not only the choice of tests, but also the rationale for their use. Among other notable features, the book:

  • Includes information on 168 different laboratory tests and 124 diseases and conditions
  • Includes a section on laboratory tests pertinent to psychotropic drug initiation and monitoring
  • Includes an appendix with useful algorithms such as "Ten Rules for a Normal ECG" and "Medical Evaluation for ECT."
  • Provides information on what patients can expect and how to prepare for specific lab tests (e.g., the need to fast or to refrain from certain drugs or foods) so that clinicians can inform patients fully in advance of testing
  • Covers current standards of care in monitoring metabolic syndrome and other adverse effects and complications that can arise in psychiatric and behavioral medicine patients
  • Pays careful attention to ease of access, with standard formatting for each section, and with extensive indexing

Laboratory Medicine in Psychiatry and Behavioral Science is an indispensible compendium of valuable information on laboratory tests and diseases, and is a reference that clinicians will find themselves consulting frequently.

Table of Contents:


Laboratory tests.

Diseases and conditions.

Psychotropic medications: laboratory screening and monitoring.

Appendix A: therapeutic and drug levels at a glance.

Appendix B: additional information on neuroimaging.

Appendix C: additional information on cardiac-related tests.



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