Brief Strategic Family Therapy Versus Treatment as Usual: Results of a Multisite Randomized Trial for Substance Using Adolescents

Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, FL, USA.
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology (Impact Factor: 4.85). 10/2011; 79(6):713-27. DOI: 10.1037/a0025477
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To determine the effectiveness of brief strategic family therapy (BSFT; an evidence-based family therapy) compared to treatment as usual (TAU) as provided in community-based adolescent outpatient drug abuse programs.
A randomized effectiveness trial in the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network compared BSFT to TAU with a multiethnic sample of adolescents (213 Hispanic, 148 White, and 110 Black) referred for drug abuse treatment at 8 community treatment agencies nationwide. Randomization encompassed both adolescents' families (n = 480) and the agency therapists (n = 49) who provided either TAU or BSFT services. The primary outcome was adolescent drug use, assessed monthly via adolescent self-report and urinalysis for up to 1 year post randomization. Secondary outcomes included treatment engagement (≥2 sessions), retention (≥8 sessions), and participants' reports of family functioning 4, 8, and 12 months following randomization.
No overall differences between conditions were observed in the trajectories of self-reports of adolescent drug use. However, the median number of days of self-reported drug use was significantly higher, χ2(1) = 5.40, p < .02, in TAU (Mdn = 3.5, interquartile range [IQR] = 11) than BSFT (Mdn = 2, IQR = 9) at the final observation point. BSFT was significantly more effective than TAU in engaging, χ2(1) = 11.33, p < .001, and retaining, χ2(1) = 5.66, p < .02, family members in treatment and in improving parent reports of family functioning, χ2(2) = 9.10, p < .011.
We discuss challenges in treatment implementation in community settings and provide recommendations for further research.

Download full-text


Available from: Daniel J Feaster, Jul 04, 2015
1 Follower
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Noticing a lack of evidence-based programmes for treating adolescents heavily using cannabis in Europe, government representatives from Belgium, France, Germany, The Netherlands, and Switzerland decided to have U.S.-developed multidimensional family therapy (MDFT) tested in their countries in a trans-national trial, called the International Need for Cannabis Treatment (INCANT) study. METHODS: INCANT was a 2 (treatment condition)×5 (time) repeated measures intent-to-treat randomised effectiveness trial comparing MDFT to Individual Psychotherapy (IP). Data were gathered at baseline and 3, 6, 9 and 12 months thereafter. Study participants were recruited at outpatient secondary level addiction, youth, and forensic care clinics in Brussels, Berlin, Paris, The Hague, and Geneva. Participants were adolescents from 13 through 18 years of age with a recent cannabis use disorder. 85% were boys; 40% were of foreign descent. One-third had been arrested for a criminal offence in the past 3 months. Three primary outcomes were assessed: (1) treatment retention, (2) prevalence of cannabis use disorder and (3) 90-day frequency of cannabis consumption. RESULTS: Positive outcomes were found in both the MDFT and IP conditions. MDFT outperformed IP on the measures of treatment retention (p<0.001) and prevalence of cannabis dependence (p=0.015). MDFT reduced the number of cannabis consumption days more than IP in a subgroup of adolescents reporting more frequent cannabis use (p=0.002). CONCLUSIONS: Cannabis use disorder was responsive to treatment. MDFT exceeded IP in decreasing the prevalence of cannabis dependence. MDFT is applicable in Western European outpatient settings, and may show moderately greater benefits than IP in youth with more severe substance use.
    Drug and alcohol dependence 11/2012; 130(1-3). DOI:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2012.10.013 · 3.28 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Growing recognition of the negative impact of anxiety disorders in the lives of youth has made their identification an important clinical task. Multiple perspective assessment (e.g., parents, children) is generally considered a preferred method in the assessment of anxiety disorder symptoms, although it has been generally thought that disagreement between parent and youth ratings of the child's emotions is common. This study examined parent and child reports of the child's anxiety disorder symptoms using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children-Predictive Scales (DISC-PS) in a clinic-referred sample of substance using adolescents. Parents and adolescents (N = 480) who were referred for substance abuse treatment were screened for anxiety disorder symptoms using the DISC-PS at pretreatment. Results suggest similar (low) levels of agreement between the parent report and child report versions as found with other anxiety symptom and anxiety disorder measures. Findings provide data on multi-informant agreement and highlight issues in the use of the DISC-PS to identify anxiety problems in youth.
    Assessment 11/2010; 18(2):213-6. DOI:10.1177/1073191110389278 · 3.29 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Underrepresentation in clinical trials limits the extent to which ethnic minorities benefit from advances in substance abuse treatment. The objective of this article is to share the knowledge gained within the Clinical Trials Network (CTN) of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and other research on recruiting and retaining ethnic minorities into substance abuse clinical trials. The article includes a discussion of two broad areas for improving inclusion-community involvement and cultural adaptation. CTN case studies are included to illustrate three promising strategies for improving ethnic minority inclusion: respondent-driven sampling, community-based participatory research, and the cultural adaptation of the recruitment and retention procedures. The article concludes with two sections describing a number of methodological concerns in the current research base and our proposed research agenda for improving ethnic minority inclusion that builds on the CTN experience.
    Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology 10/2011; 17(4):345-56. DOI:10.1037/a0025668 · 1.36 Impact Factor