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Clin Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2013 Jul;18(3):334-50. doi: 10.1177/1359104512455811. Epub 2012 Aug 28.

Feasibility of Attachment Based Family Therapy for depressed clinic-referred Norwegian adolescents.

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  • 1Department of Research and Development, Akershus University Hospital, Lorenskog, Norway.


Several studies have earned Attachment Based Family Therapy (ABFT) the designation of a promising empirically supported treatment for adolescents with depression. This study evaluated the feasibility of importing ABFT into a hospital-based outpatient clinic in Norway. This article documents the challenges of initiating and conducting research in a real world clinical setting and training staff therapists. It also reports on outcomes of a pilot randomized clinical trial. Implementation barriers rapidly emerged in relation to hospital administration, infrastructure development, and therapists. Despite these barriers, 20 clinic-referred adolescents were randomly assigned to ABFT (n= 11) or to Treatment as Usual (TAU) (n= 9). Adolescents in ABFT showed significantly better symptom reduction compared to adolescents in TAU with an effect size of 1.08. While preliminary, this study suggests that Norwegian clinical staff therapists could be engaged in learning and delivering ABFT, and in producing promising treatment results. The importance of institutional support for dissemination research is highlighted.


Adolescents; depression; dissemination research; family therapy

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