The primary purpose of the present study was to determine whether multisystemic therapy (MST), an intensive, home-based psychotherapy, improved regimen adherence, metabolic control, and rates of hospitalization for diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) among adolescents with chronically poorly controlled Type 1 diabetes 6 months after the completion of treatment. A randomized controlled trial was conducted with 127 adolescents and their families. Mean participant age was 13.2 years. Sixty-three percent of participants were African American, and 51% were female. Data were collected at baseline, treatment termination, and 6-month follow-up. Changes in glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), frequency of blood glucose testing (BGT), and rate of DKA admissions were assessed. In intent-to-treat analyses, a main effect of MST on DKA admissions was found at both treatment termination and follow-up. Improvements in BGT were moderated by family composition; only 2-parent MST families maintained improvements at follow-up. Improvements in HbA1c for the MST group at treatment termination were lost at follow-up. Results show that intensive, home-based psychotherapy created stable reductions in serious lapses in adherence, as indexed by episodes of DKA, among youth with poorly controlled diabetes.
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