Editors: Alec Buchanan and Michael A. Norko
Pages: 280 Soft Cover
ISBN 13: 978-1-521-13184-1
Cambridge University Press 2011
List Price: $55.00
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MedicalScienceBooks.com Medical Book Review:
The Psychiatric Report, Principles and Practice of Forensic Writing is a helpful guide for those learning how to write quality forensic reports and narratives. Due to the important role played by psychiatrists in the legal process, the need for a concise resource which outlines the main points necessary for constructing thorough and effective documents for court use is obvious. Little formal education is offered in this area to trainees although they will likely find themselves engaged in such writing for a substantial portion of their careers.
A collection of chapters at the beginning of the book contain a wealth of information related to practical aspects of report writing including technical aspects of keeping audience and purpose in mind as well as considering the ethical consequences of the final product. The next section includes detailed components required for specific types of reports such as those used in child custody cases. Finally, there are several chapters discussing common themes such as psychological test results and violence assessments which need to be communicated clearly and accurately.
Although much of the information can be used by a wide international audience, portions of the report specific information relates to the legal systems of the U.S. and U.K. Therefore, some readers will require more additional resources than others when using this guide, but this is not a flaw in the book since its objective is mainly to develop confidence in writing reports and not a legal guide per se. Regardless of where one resides, the topic of malingering and how it needs to be assessed and documented will be confronted on a regular basis. This text provides excellent guidance when dealing with the malingering patient, and this chapter should be required reading for any psychiatrist in training or entering the realm of court documents for the first time.
The Psychiatric Report, Principles and Practice of Forensic Writing is recommended reading for all those involved in the assessment of individuals for legal purposes. Psychiatrists in training are at the top of the list of those that will benefit most from the book. However, due to the jargon free language and general clarity of style, court officers such as judges, lawyers and advocates can also gain insight into how psychological concerns are addressed before proceedings begin.
Description (From Publisher):
The written report is central to the practice of psychiatry in legal settings. It is required of mental health professionals acting as expert witnesses in criminal cases, civil litigation situations, child custody proceedings and risk assessments. This book provides a theoretical background to psychiatric writing for the law and a practical guide to the preparation of the report. The first section addresses practical and ethical concerns, including the conduct of the forensic psychiatric evaluation, conflicts of interest, record keeping and confidentiality. The second section contains practical and detailed advice on preparing various types of report, including reports for use in criminal and civil litigation, civil commitment hearings and child custody proceedings. A final section covers special issues arising during report preparation including the use of psychological tests and the detection of malingering. This is an essential guide for anyone required to write a psychiatric report.
• Provides a comprehensive practical guide to this essential professional skill
Table of Contents: