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Research Multisystemic Therapy

Outcomes For Youth Receiving Intensive In-Home Therapy or Residential Care: A Comparison

IIHT (Intensive In Home Therapy) is less restrictive and less expensive than most other treatment options that are widely available. This study demonstrates that there is a reasonable likelihood that IIHT is more successful in achieving positive long-term outcomes for youth. Such evidence may be of interest to policymakers and to purchasers of mental health services for children.

… As evidence mounts concerning less expensive alternatives to residential treatments that are also at least as effective,  policymakers may consider shifting their priorities to emphasize treatment in the least restrictive, most effective setting for each child. Such a move could provide attractive options for stakeholders who are looking to improve services for the children and families in their care.

(above excerpts taken directly from paper)

Magellan Health – Perspectives on Residential and Community-Based Treatment For Youth and Families

This paper concludes that while residential treatment remains an important component of a system of care, for most youth, community-based interventions represent a more appropriate and less costly alternative to residential placement.

MST has been shown to reduce the number of psychiatric hospitalizations, arrest rates and out-of-home placements, and lower recidivism to juvenile correction facilities (Hoagwood et al., 2001).

Mentoring … Results showed significantly less alcohol and drug use, better school attendance, higher grades, improved relationships with parents and peers, and less violence

In summary, many effective alternatives exist to residential treatment that are cost effective and have better clinical outcomes. When residential treatment is required, programs that focus on family involvement, discharge planning and reintegration back into the community, and average three to six months in duration should be primarily considered.

(above excerpts taken directly from paper)

MST Cost Effectiveness

The report estimated the benefits from two perspectives:

  • taxpayers
  • crime victims

“…Overall, taxpayers gain approximately $31,661 in subsequent criminal justice cost savings for each program participant. Adding the benefits that accrue to crime victims increases the expected net present value to $131,918 per participant, which is equivalent to a benefit-to cost ratio of $28.33 for every dollar spent.”

(above excerpts taken directly from paper)