Top critical review
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Poor print quality
on 12 August 2013
Setting aside - for a moment - the debate about the politics of psychiatry, especially the state of American health care and the imperative to attach a diagnostic label to human suffering, as these issues are well addressed elsewhere, this book is massively over-priced for the quality of the product. I have its predecessor, the Quick Reference to DSM-IV-TR, and the print quality has plummeted. Looking at some pages, especially those with chapter headings, I began to wonder whether the pages have simply been photocopied. There is uneven ink distribution, especially where text has background shading. Text frequently shows through from the reverse page, as the book is made with flimsy paper, which contrasts with the thicker, shiny paper of the DSM-IV-TR Quick Reference. On day one of possessing the book, in folding back the pages for a proper look at the small-font print, I became concerned that the pages showed signs of coming loose from the binding. Bear in mind that this is a "Desk Reference", which must, by definition, be intended for regular use. I fear that the book will not stand up to reasonable wear and tear. Please not also that some of the codes, both in this book and the full version, are wrong. See the DSM website for coding corrections. All in all, and now including the politics of psychiatry, this leaves me wondering just how professional the American Psychiatric Association really is.
Update: I've been looking at the reviews on the US version of Amazon. Any fears I had about appearing to be over-reacting to the print quality and poor binding have disappeared. Lots of US reviewers have said the same thing, even suggesting that the American Psychiatric Association has deliberately bound the book poorly to increase replacement purchases. Kind of adds to my concerns about professionalism. Several reviewers took their copies to places which ring-bind books very cheaply. I don't know whether this is possible in the UK. Now I know why my book came bubble-wrapped, which struck me as odd at the time.