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J Fam Psychol. 2008 Aug;22(4):550-60. doi: 10.1037/a0012790.

The transportability of multisystemic therapy to Sweden: short-term results from a randomized trial of conduct-disordered youths.

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Institute for Evidence-Based Social Work Practice, National.


This randomized clinical trial assessed the effectiveness of multisystemic therapy (MST) for 156 youths who met the diagnostic criteria for conduct disorder. Sweden's 3 largest cities and 1 small town served as the recruiting area for the study. A mixed factorial design was used, with random allocation between MST and treatment as usual groups. Assessments were conducted at intake and 7 months after referral. With an intention-to-treat approach, results from multiagent and multimethod assessment batteries showed a general decrease in psychiatric problems and antisocial behaviors among participants across treatments. There were no significant differences in treatment effects between the 2 groups. The lack of treatment effect did not appear to be caused by site differences or variations in program maturity. MST treatment fidelity was lower than that of other studies, although not clearly related to treatment outcomes in this study. The results are discussed in terms of differences between Sweden and the United States. One difference is the way in which young offenders are processed (a child welfare approach vs. a juvenile justice system approach). Sociodemographic differences (e.g., rates of poverty, crime, and substance abuse) between the 2 countries may also have moderating effects on the rates of rehabilitation among young offenders. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved).

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