SPECIAL COMMUNICATIONS: Book Reviews
Clinical Psychology and Heart Disease
Authors: Molinari, Enrico, MS, PsyD; Compare, Angelo, PhD, MS, PsyD; Parati, Gianfranco, MD. Bibliographic Data: (ISBN: 978-8847003774, Springer, 2006, $239.00) 533 pages, hard cover. Subjects: Psychology, Clinical, Cardiology.
DESCRIPTION: As interdisciplinary research expands our understanding of diseases, it has become evident that psychological factors play a critical role in the development and maintenance of physical diseases. This book tackles the issue of cardiac disease and its relationship with psychological factors. PURPOSE: This book is intended to present advanced research on the ways in which clinical psychology can contribute to the understanding of the development and treatment of cardiac disease. It is intended to serve as the foundation for a subspecialty in psycho-cardiology. AUDIENCE: It is written for clinicians in psychology, psychiatry, cardiology, and rehabilitation, as well as students of these disciplines. The editors have both clinical and research experience in cardiology and behavioral medicine. FEATURES: The book begins with a concise introduction that covers the pathophysiology of cardiac disease, as well as the contributions of various psychological factors, including Type A personality, stress, depression, and anxiety. It then progresses through more specific chapters on each of these topics. The chapter on resilience is a nice addition that is often overlooked in clinical psychology. Readers will likely find the chapters on statistics somewhat technical and difficult to understand without advanced statistical concepts in their intellectual arsenal. The later chapters on clinical interventions, however, include case vignettes that are helpful for understanding the complex dynamics in this type of treatment. For those familiar with advanced psychotherapeutic interventions, there are specific suggestions to help structure treatment. The high quality figures, illustrations, and tables are plentiful and many are enhanced with color. The references are abundant, relevant, and current. Unfortunately, the index is rather short and lacking in specificity for such an in-depth book. ASSESSMENT: The authors have compiled a book that excels in laying the foundation for psycho-cardiology and abounds with empirical support. It is complete in its description of the pathophysiology of cardiac disease, its relationship with various psychological factors, and clinical suggestions for the psychological management of cardiac disease and associated issues. RATING: ⋆⋆⋆⋆
Christopher J. Graver, PhD
(Western State Hospital)