Multidimensional Family Therapy: Evidence Base for Transdiagnostic Treatment Outcomes, Change Mechanisms, and Implementation in Community Settings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article summarizes the 30+-year evidence base of Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT), a comprehensive treatment for youth substance abuse and antisocial behaviors. Findings from four types of MDFT studies are discussed: hybrid efficacy/effectiveness randomized controlled trials, therapy process studies, cost analyses, and implementation trials. This research has evaluated various versions of MDFT. These studies have systematically tested adaptations of MDFT for diverse treatment settings in different care sectors (mental health, substance abuse, juvenile justice, and child welfare), as well as adaptations according to treatment delivery features and client impairment level, including adolescents presenting with multiple psychiatric diagnoses. Many published scientific reviews, including meta-analyses, national and international government publications, and evidence-based treatment registries, offer consistent conclusions about the clinical effectiveness of MDFT compared with standard services as well as active treatments. The diverse and continuing MDFT research, the favorable, multi-source independent evaluations, combined with the documented receptivity of youth, parents, community-based clinicians and administrators, and national and international MDFT training programs (U.S.-based organization is MDFT International, www.mdft.org; and Europe-based organization is www.mdft.nl) all support the potential for continued transfer of MDFT to real-world clinical settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)558-576
Number of pages19
JournalFamily Process
Volume55
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

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Family Therapy
family therapy
community
evidence
substance abuse
Substance-Related Disorders
Government Publications
Therapeutics
therapy research
Organizations
organization
Federal Government
Social Justice
Administrative Personnel
Child Welfare
child welfare
Mental Disorders
Registries
Meta-Analysis
training program

Keywords

  • Change Mechanisms
  • Implementation Research
  • Multidimensional Family Therapy
  • Treatment Outcomes
  • Treatment Process

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

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abstract = "This article summarizes the 30+-year evidence base of Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT), a comprehensive treatment for youth substance abuse and antisocial behaviors. Findings from four types of MDFT studies are discussed: hybrid efficacy/effectiveness randomized controlled trials, therapy process studies, cost analyses, and implementation trials. This research has evaluated various versions of MDFT. These studies have systematically tested adaptations of MDFT for diverse treatment settings in different care sectors (mental health, substance abuse, juvenile justice, and child welfare), as well as adaptations according to treatment delivery features and client impairment level, including adolescents presenting with multiple psychiatric diagnoses. Many published scientific reviews, including meta-analyses, national and international government publications, and evidence-based treatment registries, offer consistent conclusions about the clinical effectiveness of MDFT compared with standard services as well as active treatments. The diverse and continuing MDFT research, the favorable, multi-source independent evaluations, combined with the documented receptivity of youth, parents, community-based clinicians and administrators, and national and international MDFT training programs (U.S.-based organization is MDFT International, www.mdft.org; and Europe-based organization is www.mdft.nl) all support the potential for continued transfer of MDFT to real-world clinical settings.",
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