The transportability of multisystemic therapy to Sweden: short-term results from a randomized trial of conduct-disordered youths

J Fam Psychol. 2008 Aug;22(4):550-60. doi: 10.1037/a0012790.


This randomized clinical trial assessed the effectiveness of multisystemic therapy (MST) for 156 youths who met the diagnostic criteria for conduct disorder. Sweden's 3 largest cities and 1 small town served as the recruiting area for the study. A mixed factorial design was used, with random allocation between MST and treatment as usual groups. Assessments were conducted at intake and 7 months after referral. With an intention-to-treat approach, results from multiagent and multimethod assessment batteries showed a general decrease in psychiatric problems and antisocial behaviors among participants across treatments. There were no significant differences in treatment effects between the 2 groups. The lack of treatment effect did not appear to be caused by site differences or variations in program maturity. MST treatment fidelity was lower than that of other studies, although not clearly related to treatment outcomes in this study. The results are discussed in terms of differences between Sweden and the United States. One difference is the way in which young offenders are processed (a child welfare approach vs. a juvenile justice system approach). Sociodemographic differences (e.g., rates of poverty, crime, and substance abuse) between the 2 countries may also have moderating effects on the rates of rehabilitation among young offenders. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved).

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Algorithms
  • Ambulatory Care*
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / diagnosis
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / epidemiology
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / therapy*
  • Catchment Area, Health
  • Comorbidity
  • Conduct Disorder / diagnosis
  • Conduct Disorder / epidemiology
  • Conduct Disorder / therapy*
  • Crime / statistics & numerical data*
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Juvenile Delinquency / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Mental Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Mental Health Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Prevalence
  • Residential Treatment*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnosis
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / therapy*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden / epidemiology