Behandlingseffekt av multisystemisk terapi (MST)
Working in Child Welfare with treatment programs, I am repeatedly confronted with the question about if and how the program works, and how to tell. Not many programs are well documented scientifically and there is a short history for empirical studies in Child Welfare in Norway. The literature in this area is not yet large and it is a lack of available studies, also in an international perspective. Empirically supported therapies are studied, discussed and developed throughout the last twenty years, whereas the American Psychological Association Division 12 Task Force has a major role. Multisystemic Therapy (MST) is one of the most studied treatments for children and adolescents with conduct problems. Experiences from this literature may provide some generalized answers and some new questions. Looking into 4 RCT-studies, 1 literature review and 3 meta-analysis, this is confirmed. The effect from MST and other similar family therapies, shows no harm and provide modest effect compared with treatment-as-usual. The picture is complicated as the robustness of criteria of describing the sample and the outcomes is weak. 142 adolescents went through MST-treatment over 6 years and 3 months from the same MST-treatment unit. In average they received the treatment for 3 to 5 months, and most of the participants had server conduct problems. Analyzing this material, the result shows a 50 % improvement. 80 % of the sample gained 80 % of the goals set for 4 of the 5 the treatment outcome. There were differences in the sample that confirmed the questions about robustness of criteria of describing the sample and the outcomes.