The WAGER, Vol 4(50) – Ex Libris: The WAGER


This week’s WAGER presents four reference works that can be invaluable to the study of pathological gambling. The editorial staff of the WAGER refers to these books regularly for guidance (and inspiration). The books chosen for this issue are easy to find and are core volumes in any professional library. Most public libraries will have copies, as will larger bookstores and online booksellers.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition (DSM-IV) describes every mental disorder currently recognized by the American Psychiatric Association. For each disorder, DSM-IV provides diagnostic criteria, differential diagnoses, natural history, and limited epidemiological information. The DSM-IV standardizes diagnoses, making them meaningful to all clinicians regardless of language or training. Insurance companies rely on DSM-IV’s classification system to make payment and reimbursement decisions. The WAGER’s well-thumbed copy of DSM-IV, pictured at left, features a broken spine that was recently repaired with duct tape. Approximate discount price: $50 US (paperback); $65 (hardcover)

The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th Edition (ICD-10) was developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), a branch of the United Nations. Like DSM-IV, ICD-10 standardizes diagnostic criteria. However, while DSM-IV covers only psychopathology, ICD-10 covers nearly all currently recognized biomedical disorders. Do not be surprised, however, if your family physician does not consult ICD-10 when diagnosing you. ICD-10 is used primarily by researchers and international health practitioners. It’s day-to-day importance in primary care is limited. Approximate discount price: $270 US (hardcover, 3 volumes)

The Physician’s Desk Reference (PDR) is published annually and contains comprehensive information about nearly all available medications. For each drug listed, the PDR describes its use, side effects, chemical properties, and dangers. Often, a glossy color photograph of the medication is provided. Doctors will often consult the PDR when determining proper doses or potential drug interactions. The PDR is a highly technical document that non-physicians may find difficult to interpret. A easier-to-read consumer-oriented version of the PDR can be found at Approximate price:
$80 US (hardcover)

Stedman’s Medical Dictionary contains over 45,000 definitions of common and not-so-common medical terms. If you’ve ever been confused between diastolic and systolic blood pressure, or wanted to know where your infundibulum is, Stedman’s is the place to look. It is a valuable reference tool for the layperson and scientist alike.

The WAGER has received funding from the National Center for Responsible Gaming, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the Andrews Foundation, the Addiction Technology Transfer Center of New England, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration Services, and the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.

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