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MST for Youths Exhibiting Serious Mental Health Problems Melisa D. Rowland, MD Assistant Professor Family Services Research Center Department of Psychiatry.

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Presentation on theme: "MST for Youths Exhibiting Serious Mental Health Problems Melisa D. Rowland, MD Assistant Professor Family Services Research Center Department of Psychiatry."— Presentation transcript:

1 MST for Youths Exhibiting Serious Mental Health Problems Melisa D. Rowland, MD Assistant Professor Family Services Research Center Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Medical University of South Carolina

2 MST for Serious Emotional Disturbance (SED) n Outcomes from Randomized Trials n MST Adaptations to Treat Youths Presenting Serious Mental Health Problems and Their Families n Status of the Transport of MST-SED to Community Settings

3 MST as an Alternative to Psychiatric Hospitalization for Youths in Psychiatric Crisis NIMH R01 MH51852 Family Services Research Center Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences Medical University of South Carolina (PI: Scott W. Henggeler) Publications available at

4 Study Purpose Can a well-specified family-based intervention, MST, serve as a viable alternative to psychiatric hospitalization for addressing mental health emergencies presented by children and adolescents?

5 Design Random assignment to home-based MST vs. inpatient psychiatric hospitalization Assessments: T1--within 24 hours of recruitment T2--post hospitalization (typically 2 weeks post recruitment) T3--post MST--4 months post recruitment T4--6 months post T3 T5--12 months post T3 T6--30 months post T3

6 Participant Inclusion Criteria:  Emergent psychiatric hospitalization for suicidal, homicidal, psychotic, or risk of harm to self/others  Age years  Residence in Charleston County, SC  Medicaid funded or no health insurance  Existence of a non-institutional residential environment (e.g., family home, kinship home, foster home, shelter)

7 Participant Characteristics (N = 156) R Average age = 12.9 years R 65% male R 65% African American, 33% Caucasian R 51% lived in single-parent households R 31% lived in 2-parent households R 18% lived with someone other than a biological/adoptive parent R $592 median family monthly income from employment R 70% received AFDC, food stamps, or SSI R 79% Medicaid

8 Primary Reason for Psychiatric Hospitalization  38% suicidal ideation, plan, or attempt  37% posed threat of harm to self or others  17% homicidal ideation, plan, or attempt  8% psychotic * based on approval by a mental health professional who was not affiliated with the study

9 Youth Histories at Intake  35% had prior arrests  85% had prior psychiatric treatments  35% had prior psychiatric hospitalizations  Mean # DISC Diagnoses at Intake Caregiver report2.89 Youth report1.78

10 Clinical Experiences & Solutions Significant parental psychopathology  26% cg SUD (65% of these with co-morbid mental d/o)  57% cg with mental health d/o (35% co-morbid SUD)  cg GSI/BSI significantly elevated compared to MST Drug Court Study parents Interventions   psychiatric resources to caregivers   therapist training in EBT for SUD (CRA)   therapist training in EBT for MH disorders (depression, BPAD and borderline pdo)

11 Clinical Experiences & Solutions II Youth exhibited greater psychopathology  Externalizing & Internalizing CBCL - 2 SD above the mean  GSI of BSI significantly elevated Interventions   psychiatric resources to youth   therapist training in EBT for youth   therapist resources (next slide)

12 Therapist Support Modifications I Hiring changes –  experience in EBT  masters required Supervisory changes –   time in office and in field,   QA protocols (audiotapes)   caseloads  systems-level intervention help (schools, courts).

13 Therapist Support Modifications II Clinical additions –  Psychiatrist available 24/7 for youths & caregivers  Crisis caseworker position established  Resource enrichment –   continuum of placements available (respite beds, temporary foster care)

14 MST as an Alternative to Psychiatric Hospitalization for Youths in Psychiatric Crisis Implementation

15 ? Recruitment Rate: 90% (160 of 177 families consented) ? Research Retention Rates: 98% at T1, 97.5% for T2 through T5!! ? MST Treatment Completion: 94% (74 of 79 families) - full course of MST mean duration = 127 days mean time in direct contact = 92 hours

16 Post-treatment Outcomes (T3, n=113) Favoring MST j  Externalizing symptoms - parent & teacher CBCL j Decreased suicide attempts (Huey) j Trend for  adolescent alcohol use - PEI self report j  Family cohesion - caregiver FACES j  Family structure - adolescent FACES j  School attendance j 72% reduction in days hospitalized j 50% reduction in other out of home placements j  Youth & caregiver satisfaction FAVORING HOSPITAL CONDITION: j  Youth self-esteem

17 MST: A Case Example n Joanne - 16 y white female referred to hospital for runaway/burglary - under influence ETOH runaway x 3 this year polysubstance abuse ADD n Past psychiatric history psych. hospital - 3y prior, OD pills 2nd suicide attempt - 1y, ER h/o Prozac, Paxil, Ritalin

18 boyfriend Joanne Mom Grandparents Father? SF ETOH Sx Prp Anxiety - Paxil d. x 5 years ADHD Florida Joanne Liza

19 Assessment of Ecology Strengths Individual positive affect with M social skills, manners writes poems enjoys art, photography obeys M at times Barriers Individual suicide attempts poly SUD promiscuous runaway truancy ADD r/o anxiety/depression

20 Assessment of Ecology II Strengths Family M concerned, invested M, Joanne, Liza - positive affect BF is supportive of M M has social support - 2 friends & bf M has social skills Barriers Family unclear roles/M as sibling low monitoring by M M’s anxiety disorder M & Liza - sexually abused by MGF MGF - alcohol abuse minimal contact with F

21 Assessment of Ecology III Strengths Peers New friend, possibly prosocial M knows friend’s GPs Has skills to engage prosocial peers Barriers Peers Hangs with SUD crowd in school Peers are older, have SUD, criminal, runaway, pregnant Known to be promiscuous by peers

22 Assessment of Ecology IV Strengths School Regular classes New school building Nice campus Guidance counselor attempts to be helpful Barriers School Failed x 2, 9th x 3 Labeled as “bad” School not invested-expels frequently School has high number of youth with SUD

23 Assessment of Ecology V Strengths Community low crime safe neighborhood Barriers Community Near high school - easy drug access

24 ETOH/ Drug Use Running/ Illegal Sexual Behavior Referral Behavior

25 ETOH/ Drug Use Sexual Behavior Running/ Illegal Permissive Parenting Deviant Peers School Performance Anxiety Initial Conceptualization

26 ETOH/ Drug Use Sexual Behavior Running/ Illegal M’s skills M’s anxiety disorder M’s knowledge Permissive Parenting Deviant Peers School Performance Anxiety A.D.D. Anxiety Repeated Failure Hard to change Older than classmates School not invested Broader Conceptualization M was poorly parented Guilt No prosocial

27 Interventions - Caregiver n Engage, assess fit, set joint goals n  knowledge - parenting n  skills - *help apply n Facilitate tx of M’s anxiety disorder n CBT of M’s role reversal n M taught to do self management plan with J around drugs & sex n M administer and consequate UDS/breath.

28 Interventions - Youth n Engage, assess fit, set joint goals n Functional analysis of drugs, sex, running triggers, thoughts, feelings, consequences n Self management plan (with M assisting) n UDS/Breathalyzer n Medications for anxiety and ADD n Medical eval/treatment - STD risks n CBT for anxiety symptoms

29 Interventions - Peers n  parental monitoring ä M to know peers ä M to call peers parents ä M to provide consequences n  time, access, negative peers and sister n  time with appropriate peers n change school, part-time job

30 Interventions - Family n  parental monitoring of sibling interaction ä limit sister’s involvement, rules for sister n  boyfriend’s support of M’s parenting n  family rules, structure, communication n  M’s social support

31 Interventions - School n Work with school/youth/caregiver to set appropriate attainable goals n  M’s involvement in J’s education n Change to GED program

32 Summary – Across treatment conditions & respondents - psychopathology symptoms improved to sub- clinical range by months. – Groups reached improved symptoms with significantly different trajectories. – During treatment (4 months), MST was significantly better at promoting youths functional outcomes, yet these improvements were not maintained post-treatment.

33 Summary II Key measures of functioning showed deterioration across treatment conditions. Adolescents with serious emotional disturbance are at high risk for failure to meet critical developmental challenges

34 MST for Youth with SED  A Work in Progress  R Lengthen treatment R Provide continuum of services (respite, hospitalization as well as home-based) R Rigorous integration of EBP R Treat the entire family R Continue research ² Continuum studies – Hawaii and Philadelphia ² NIDA-funded study to evaluate integration of CRA into MST for caregiver substance abuse ² Future community-based pilots


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