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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

versión On-line ISSN 2078-5135
versión impresa ISSN 0256-9574

SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. vol.100 no.10 Cape Town oct. 2010




The facts: obsessive compulsive disorder



By Stanley Rachman and Padmal de Silva. 4th edition. Pp. xi + 184. R175. Oxford University Press Southern Africa. 2009. ISBN 978-0-19-956177-3

The Facts: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is an easy-to-read book which aims to provide a general overview of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and offer basic information describing the symptoms, causes and popular theories explaining OCD. This edition includes some advances in the field, with a note that psychological therapies prove as effective as drugs in the treatment of OCD, and endeavours to offer the reader a summary of the major research findings. Case studies are utilised to illustrate various aspects of OCD and its treatment. Included are chapters on the relationship of OCD to other disorders, the effects of OCD on families and relationships, as well as OCD in children. The authors discuss the treatments available, as well as practical advice and notes on self-assessment and treatment, including a relaxation exercise, inventories and questionnaires.

The book succeeds in providing accessible information for patients, families and general health care practitioners. However, South African mental health practitioners may be frustrated with the lack of contextual information and statistics, as those referred to are based on developed countries (US, UK and Canada), and may not be a reflection of the South African context. In addition the list of resources and organisations provided are specific to the UK, USA, Canada and Australia.


Lameze Abrahams

Principal Psychologist
Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital

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