Multisystemic therapy compared to telephone support for youth with poorly controlled diabetes: findings from a randomized controlled trial

Ann Behav Med. 2012 Oct;44(2):207-15. doi: 10.1007/s12160-012-9378-1.


Background: Few interventions have effectively improved health outcomes among youth with diabetes in chronic poor metabolic control.

Purpose: This study aims to determine whether multisystemic therapy (MST), an intensive, home-based, tailored family treatment, was superior to weekly telephone support for improving regimen adherence and metabolic control among adolescents with chronic poor metabolic control.

Methods: A randomized controlled trial was conducted with 146 adolescents with types 1 or 2 diabetes. Data were collected at baseline, 7 months (treatment termination), and 12 months (6 months follow-up).

Results: Adolescents receiving MST had significantly improved metabolic control at 7 (1.01 % decrease) and 12 months (0.74 % decrease) compared to adolescents in telephone support. Parents of adolescents receiving MST reported significant improvements in adolescent adherence. However, adolescent-reported adherence was unchanged.

Conclusions: MST improved health outcomes among adolescents with chronic poor metabolic control when compared to telephone support. Home-based approaches may provide a viable means to improve access to behavioral interventions for such youth.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Child
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / psychology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / psychology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy*
  • Family Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Insulin / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Patient Compliance / psychology*
  • Remote Consultation / methods*
  • Telephone
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin