An exploration of treatment interventions that contribute to a positive outcome for adolescents in brief psychiatric hospitalization

David Maleski (1993)

Most inpatient adolescent treatment programs employ a variety of interventions, including the use of individual, group, and family therapies, psychotropic medication, and behavioral interventions. The literature concerning outcome studies for short-term inpatient adolescent psychiatric hospitalization suggests that few have attempted to identify which aspects of treatment contribute most to a successful outcome. This study explored which treatment interventions contributed most to a successful outcome. Thirteen treatment or biopsychosocial factors were identified and correlated with measures of improvement for fifty adolescents admitted for short-term inpatient treatment. The relationships between the factors and outcome were considered over three time periods; admission to discharge, admission to follow-up and discharge to follow-up. Regression analyses were conducted on those factors found to have significant correlations with outcome. Further analysis was conducted by contrasting the population on the basis of gender, diagnosis (internalizing vs. externalizing), and specific measures of improved outcome. Regression analyses found that while some factors that were significantly correlated with outcome measures were predictors of those measures, others were only marginally so. Within the contrasted groups distinct differences emerged. The most noticeable difference was observed between the medicated and non-medicated groups with more treatment factors influencing outcome in the medication group. The findings suggest that group and family therapy were particularly effective in the alleviation of symptoms for the total sample and that more attention should be paid to matching individual and group differences with particular treatment interventions