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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 57 (2015) 8, 561 - 568

New research

Multisystemic therapy for child abuse and neglect (MST-CAN): description of the treatment, psychiatric morbidity, and the psychiatrist’s role

F.N. Kamphuis, O.M. Brand-De Wilde, R.E.A. van der Rijken

background Many untreated psychiatric problems occur in families where there is child abuse. It is very important to find ways of ensuring that the hard-to-reach families receive adequate psychiatric assessment and appropriate treatment.
aim To describe the treatment method and first results of multisystemic therapy for child abuse and neglect (mst-can).
method We report the psychiatric problems of the first 18 families that were treated and we report the follow-up during the first 18 months. In addition, the mst-can treatment and the psychiatrist’s role are illustrated by taking two cases as an example.
results Most of the families agreed to a psychiatric assessment and subsequent treatment. In most families safety improved considerably and out-of-house placements were avoided.
conclusion The first results suggest that mst-can is a promising treatment for families where there is child abuse. Essential elements of mst-can are targeted psychiatric diagnostic assessment and subsequent treatment.

keywords child abuse, multisystemic therapy, psychiatry