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Treatments That Work with Children: Empirically Supported Strategies for Managing Childhood Problems (2nd Edition)

Hoffman, Martin T. MD, FAAP

Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics: February/March 2014 - Volume 35 - Issue 2 - p 107
doi: 10.1097/DBP.0000000000000040
Book Review

Developmental/Behavioral Pediatrics Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Science

Interim Medical Director, Robert Warner Center for Children with Special Needs Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo Buffalo, NY

Disclosure: Dr. Hoffman has received money from the University at Buffalo Pediatric Associates.

In the introduction to this book, the authors state that it is intended to increase primary care pediatricians' knowledge of evidence based treatments that work and to introduce those treatments to psychologists to increase their repertoire of treatments that have solid scientific evidence. They also clearly state that this book is not intended to be a manual for any of the treatments, nor should it be the only source of information about these evidence-based treatments for either clinician. They have succeeded in writing a comprehensive review of the evidence for treatment of the most common behavioral issues seen in practice.

After a thorough discussion of the meaning of the term “evidence base” and its application to therapeutic choices, the book is organized into 7 chapters discussing diagnosis and management of the disorders being treated: “Disruptive Behavior Disorders,” “Anxiety and Depressive Disorders,” “Habit Disorders and Tics,” “Sleep Problems,” “Encopresis,” “Nocturnal Enuresis,” and “Pediatric Pain.” An eighth chapter is titled “Management of Adherence to Pediatric Medical Regimens.”

Each of the disorder-based chapters has subheadings for text discussing Diagnosis, (including differential diagnosis), Prevalence, Comorbidity, Causes and Correlates, Assessment, and Intervention. An unfortunate quirk of timing is that diagnoses in the book are based on DSM-IV, but it was published just as DSM-V was released. The authors do acknowledge that fact and have added discussion of likely DSM-V changes.

Each section discusses the relevant literature with many citations throughout. Different approaches to the same basic methodologies are noted, quoted, and appropriately referenced. Medication treatments are discussed as well and relevant literature cited. At the end of each chapter is a cogent and coherent summary of the relevant issues. One could gain significant insight into the issues by simply reading each chapter's Conclusion.

The eighth and final chapter concerning adherence is an excellent review of literature that applies to all disciplines that deal with children and families. The authors explore and delineate many of the problems that are faced by clinicians, parents, and children. This may be the most practical chapter of the book. Some of the principles of practice can be put to use right away, many require significant extra time and effort, and some may only be practical in a multidisciplinary setting where other professionals can work on these issues. This chapter would make an excellent basis for didactic sessions about Adherence.

Throughout the book there are “exhibits.” These may be illustrations, lists of symptoms, differential diagnoses, assessment questionnaires, guides to details of therapeutic processes, and information or treatment guides that one could give to parents. Unfortunately, the majority of these are copyrighted material and thus not easily available to a clinician who, for example, might want to try an enuresis alarm and would like to give the parent some written instructions on do's or don'ts.

Overall, I found this to be an excellent review of the current state of the art for treatment of these common conditions. I would recommend it highly as a book to turn to for information and understanding. It is definitely not, and was not intended to be, an off the shelf workbook for pediatricians and psychologists.

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins