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Peer Review

Psychopharmacology for the Non-Physician

by Ken callis


Overall Numeric Rating:

3.5 stars
Content Quality: 4.3 stars
Effectiveness: 4 stars
Ease of Use: 3 stars
Reviewed: Jan 28, 2006 by Psychology
Overview: This is a lecture from an upper division Abnormal Psychology course regarding
basic elements of psychopharmacology, including how new drugs are produced,
tested, and approved.
Type of Material: This material is lecture/presentation. It offers information in various formats,
including Powerpoint, text, and links.

Recommended Uses: This material is useful for students who are interested in learning about the
effects of psychotherapeutic medications, how such medications are produced and
tested, and current issues and controversies related to the use of such
Technical Requirements: None.
Identify Major Learning Goals: Students entering the helping professions will be better prepared to assist
others if they have increased knowledge of psychopharmacology. The goal of this
material is not to prepare students to be prescribers, but rather to be
knowledgeable and responsible contributors to a healthier patient.
Target Student Population: While the site was designed for advanced undergraduate students, it would be of
use to anyone. The author provides a convincing rationale for why everyone
should know at least something about psychopharmacology as we all will no doubt
encounter medications or the medicated.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: While some background in physiological psychology and psychotherapies would be
helpful for students using this material, no such knowledge is required.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.3 stars
Strengths: This material is a comprehensive and well-written presentation of
psychopharmacology for the non-physician. It gives a balanced perspective on the
issues and controversies associated with the prescription of such medications.
The author made good choices when including links to other readings and
Concerns: Some areas are unlikely to be covered in any course - such as some of the
definitions. As the site tries to do so much, it lacks depth in some areas that
would be useful. More of an explanation of side effects, for example, would be

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: There is a good deal of material here and it is comprehensive. The various
components of the site can be used in many courses. It has potential
for use in most any psychology course, although the entire site would most
likely only be used in a course specifically on drugs.

Concerns: This material would be more effective if the author included exercises,
examples, and self-tests to supplement the text. These additions might enhance
the presentation of areas such as the discussion of methods of comparability or
research control options. The inconsistent structure may frustrate some

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 3 stars
Strengths: This material is very easy to use for both students and faculty.
Concerns: The formatting is inconsistent. The site lacks structure - it is not clear how
one should move through it. It would be good if the author provided a "roadmap"
for how to best use the materials and navigate through the site.

Other Issues and Comments: A well-written, balanced, and comprehensive lecture on psychopharmacology.

Creative Commons:
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States