Randomized, controlled trial of Behavioral Family Systems Therapy for Diabetes: maintenance and generalization of effects on parent-adolescent communication

Behav Ther. 2008 Mar;39(1):33-46. doi: 10.1016/j.beth.2007.04.001. Epub 2007 Oct 18.


We report a randomized trial of a revised Behavioral Family Systems Therapy for Diabetes (BFST-D) intervention. Families of 104 adolescents with diabetes were randomized to standard care (SC) or to 6 months of an educational support group (ES) or BFST-D. Family communication and problem-solving skills were assessed at 0, 6, 12, and 18 months by independent rating of videotaped family problem-solving discussions. BFST-D improved individual communication of adolescents and mothers, but not fathers. BFST-D significantly improved quality of family interaction compared to SC (10 of 12 comparisons) and ES (6 of 12 comparisons). Changes in family communication were differentially associated with changes in glycemic control, adherence, and family conflict. BFST-D improved family communication and problem solving relative to SC and modestly relative to ES.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Child
  • Communication
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / psychology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / therapy
  • Family Therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Patient Compliance / psychology*
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Problem Solving
  • Psychology, Adolescent
  • Self-Help Groups
  • Treatment Outcome