Evidence for the BSFT® Program : Outcomes

Outcomes

Research indicates that in comparison with control groups, the BSFT® intervention provides more engagement in therapy, reduction in conduct problems, reduction in socialized aggression, reduction in substance use, and better family functioning. For a review of the research, please visit the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP), a service of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at NREPP. More studies are underway.

More Engagement in Therapy:

In one study, families who received the BSFT® intervention were significantly more engaged in therapy than families in the comparison groups, who received standard family therapy or standard group therapy (p < .006). Two other studies resulted in similar findings, with families receiving the BSFT® intervention being significantly more engaged in therapy than control families receiving individual and family therapy (p < .05) and control families receiving standard family therapy (p < .0001), respectively.

Reduction in Conduct Problems:

In one study, adolescents who participated in the BSFT® intervention showed a significantly greater reduction in conduct problems than adolescents in the comparison condition, who received a participatory-learning group intervention (p < .01). In another study, adolescents receiving the BSFT® intervention showed a significant reduction in conduct problems (p < .001).

Reduction in Socialized Aggression (Delinquency in the Company of Peers):

In one study, adolescents who participated in the BSFT® intervention showed a significantly greater reduction in socialized aggression than adolescents in the comparison condition, who received a participatory-learning group intervention (p < .01). In another study, adolescents receiving the BSFT® intervention showed a significant reduction in socialized aggression (p < .001).

Reduction in Substance Use:

In one study, adolescents who participated in the BSFT® intervention showed significantly greater reductions in marijuana use than adolescents in the comparison group, who received a participatory-learning group intervention (p < .05). In another study, adolescents receiving the BSFT® intervention showed a significant reduction in overall substance use (p < .05). In a third study, adolescent girls who participated in the BSFT® intervention showed significantly greater reductions in substance use at posttest (p < .001) and at the 1-year follow-up (p < .05) than adolescent girls in the comparison group, who received an intervention consisting of structural, detailed question sessions.

Better Family Functioning:

In one study, adolescents who participated in the BSFT® intervention reported significantly better family functioning on the FES Cohesion scale than adolescents in the comparison group, who received a participatory-learning group intervention (p < .05). Families in the BSFT® intervention group also showed significantly greater improvement on overall SFSR scores than families in the comparison group (p < .05). In another study, reports by both parents and adolescents who received the BSFT® intervention showed significant improvements in family functioning on the General Scale of the Family Assessment Measure (p < .001 for both parents and adolescents). The effect sizes were medium for the parent report (Cohen’s d = 0.58) and small for the adolescent report (Cohen’s d = 0.42). In a third study, families receiving the BSFT® intervention demonstrated significantly better family functioning on the SFSR at the 1-year follow-up than families assigned to either an individual psychodynamic child therapy group or a recreational control condition (p < .02).

The BSFT® Program is one of the “most effective among the family-based interventions”

Austin, Macgowan, and Wagner (2005) conducted a rigorous evaluation of family-based interventions for adolescent substance abuse populations. The purpose of the systematic review was to examine the level of efficacy and effectiveness of the most current family-based treatment approaches. Austin and his colleagues found that Brief Strategic Family Therapy® (BSFT®) and Multidimensional FamilyTherapy are the most effective among the family-based interventions, meeting the criteria for probably efficacious according to the criteria developed by Chambless and Hollon (1998).