The treatment of dually diagnosed adolescents is challenging for many reasons, including complex treatment needs, poor treatment engagement and retention, and a lack of sustainable treatment outcomes. Although a large percentage of adolescents are diagnosed with both substance abuse and mental health diagnoses, research is only beginning to identify effective treatments for this population. The current study systematically reviews randomized clinical trials of interventions for dually diagnosed adolescents.
Results examining both between-group effect sizes and within group changes indicate the efficacy of several treatment modalities in improving specific aspects of treatment needs but highlight family behavior therapy and individual cognitive problem-solving therapy as showing large effect sizes across externalizing, internalizing, and substance-abuse outcomes in dually diagnosed youth. The study further discusses the complexities of systematically evaluating the currently limited state of research on dually diagnosed youth. Finally, preliminary guidelines for treating dually diagnosed adolescents are derived from a review of those treatments shown to be most effective. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract).
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