Efficacy of a multimodal treatment for disruptive behavior disorders in children and adolescents: focus on internalizing problems.
Disruptive Behavior Disorders (DBDs) are among the most common reasons for youth referrals to mental health clinics. Aim of this study is to compare short and medium term efficacy of a multimodal treatment program (MTP), compared to community care (treatment-as-usual, TAU). The sample included 135 youths with DBDs (113 males, age range 9-15 years, mean age 12±2.5 years) were assigned either to a MTP (n=64), or addressed to community care for a TAU (n=71). Outcome measures were the Child Behaviour Checklist (CBCL) and the Children's Global Assessment Scale (C-GAS). All subjects were assessed at the baseline (T0), after 1-year treatment (T1) and after a 2-year follow-up (T2). Compared with patients receiving TAU, youths in the MTP showed, both at T1 and T2, significantly lower scores on CBCL Externalizing Scale, Internalizing Scale, Anxious/Depressed, Social Problems, and Aggressive Behavior, and higher scores at the C-GAS. Improvement in Internalizing Scales was particularly evident, with a shift from the clinical to the non-clinical range. Rate of use of mental health services and scholastic failure were reduced in the MTP. It is suggested that the improvement of the Internalizing symptoms is a crucial component of the therapeutic process in this MTP.
Masi, G; Milone, A; Paciello, M; Lenzi, F; Muratori, P; Manfredi, A; Polidori, L; Ruglioni, L; Lochman, JE; Muratori, F
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