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Psychiatr Serv. 2006 Apr;57(4):477-86.

Research on day treatment programs for preschoolers with disruptive behavior disorders.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, 4018 Sainte Catherine Ouest, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3Z 1P2.



This review examined the literature on psychosocial treatments for preschoolers with disruptive behavior disorders to delineate ways in which interventions developed in research settings can be used to enhance existing clinical preschool day treatment programs.


A PsycINFO search was performed by using the keywords "day treatment," "behavior problems," "disruptive behavior disorder," and "oppositional defiant disorder" to find articles published between 1974 and 2004 on randomized controlled trials of psychosocial interventions for preschoolers (ages two to five years). No randomized controlled trials of multimodal day treatment programs were found. Therefore, studies on multimodal day treatment were selected on the basis of whether they presented quantitative outcome data.


Little research was available on the effectiveness of day treatment programs, despite the programs' prevalence as a treatment modality for disruptive preschoolers. In contrast, many interventions in the disruptive behavior disorder research have not made their way into clinical practice. Preschool day treatment programs may be enhanced by improving access to care, emphasizing social problem-solving skills, and using strategies to engage families in treatment. Research studies on existing day treatment programs are needed to clarify the role of these programs in child psychiatry clinics and to shed light on optimal methods of service delivery.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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