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From the same journal

Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care for Adolescents in English care: Randomised trial and observational cohort evaluation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Published copy (DOI)


  • J. Green
  • Nina Biehal
  • C. Roberts
  • Jo Dixon
  • C Kay
  • E Parry
  • J. Rothwell
  • A. Roby
  • D. Kapadia
  • S. Scott
  • Ian Alexander Charles Sinclair


Publication details

JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
DateAccepted/In press - 25 Oct 2013
DatePublished (current) - 1 Mar 2014
Issue number3
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)214-221
Original languageEnglish


Children in care often have poor outcomes. There is a lack of evaluative research into intervention options.

To examine the efficacy of Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care for Adolescents (MTFC-A) compared with usual care for young people at risk in foster care in England.

A two-arm single (assessor) blinded randomised controlled trial (RCT) embedded within an observational quasi-experimental case–control study involving 219 young people aged 11–16 years (trial registration: ISRCTN 68038570). The primary outcome was the Child Global Assessment Scale (CGAS). Secondary outcomes were ratings of educational attendance, achievement and rate of offending.

The MTFC-A group showed a non-significant improvement in CGAS outcome in both the randomised cohort (n = 34, adjusted mean difference 1.3, 95% CI −7.1 to 9.7, P = 0.75) and in the trimmed observational cohort (n = 185, adjusted mean difference 0.95, 95% CI −2.38 to 4.29, P = 0.57). No significant effects were seen in secondary outcomes. There was a possible differential effect of the intervention according to antisocial behaviour.

There was no evidence that the use of MTFC-A resulted in better outcomes than usual care. The intervention may be more beneficial for young people with antisocial behaviour but less beneficial than usual treatment for those without.

    Research areas

  • looked after children, foster care, treatment foster care, RCT



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