Innovations in Practice: Dialectical behaviour therapy for adolescents: multisite implementation and evaluation of a 16-week programme in a public community mental health setting

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Abstract

Background: Dialectical behaviour therapy for adolescents (DBT-A) is an intervention with a growing evidence base for treating adolescents with emotional and behavioural dysregulation. This study describes the implementation and effectiveness of 16-week DBT-A across multiple sites in publicly funded child/adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) in Ireland. Method: The Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research was used to guide this national implementation. Fifty-four clinicians from seven CAMHS teams completed DBT training and delivered the 16-week DBT-A programme. Eighty-four adolescents with emotional and behavioural dysregulation participated in the intervention and outcome measures were administered at preintervention, postintervention and 16-week follow-up. Results: Significant reductions on all outcome measures were observed for DBT-A participants including presence and frequency of self-harm, suicidal ideation and depression. Reductions in the number of acute inpatient admissions, bed days and emergency department visits were also reported. Conclusions: DBT-A can be successfully implemented in CAMHS settings and yield positive outcomes for adolescents with emotional and behavioural dysregulation.

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Flynn, D., Kells, M., Joyce, M., Corcoran, P., Gillespie, C., Suarez, C., … Arensman, E. (2019). Innovations in Practice: Dialectical behaviour therapy for adolescents: multisite implementation and evaluation of a 16-week programme in a public community mental health setting. Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 24(1), 76–83. https://doi.org/10.1111/camh.12298

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