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J Marital Fam Ther. 2003 Oct;29(4):547-70.

Meta-analysis of MFT interventions.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Memphis, USA.


This article briefly reviews 20 meta-analyses of marital and family interventions. These meta-analyses support the efficacy of both MFT for distressed couples, and martial and family enrichment. Those effects are slightly reduced at follow-up, but still significant. Differences among kinds of marital and family interventions tend to be small. MFT produce clinically significant results in 40-50% of those treated, but the effects of MFT in clinically representative settings have not been much studied. The article also introduces the concept of meta-analytically supported treatments (MASTs), which are treatments that meet certain criteria for efficacy in meta-analysis, and which remedy certain problems in the empirically supported treatment (EST) literature. The article concludes with recommendations for doing better meta-analyses.

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