Fidelity to the MST model is key to success
Similarly, MST involves steps that must be followed with fidelity if the positive outcomes shown in studies and rigorous tests over three decades are to be achieved.
MST Services’ quality-assurance system provides multiple layers of clinical and program support and ongoing feedback to ensure that providers faithfully implement MST.
Short cuts just don’t work. They deteriorate the success rate. For example, caseloads must be kept low so that teams and supervisors can devote all the time necessary to each youth and family. Adding more cases dilutes that time, and everyone loses. Ongoing training is also a critical component to staying true to the model. And only youths who are in the MST target population—hard-core offenders—should be included in treatment.
In randomized trials of MST, greater therapist adherence predicted reductions in:
And improvements in:
These findings held up across 45 sites in the MST Transportability Study. That study also showed links between consultant adherence, supervisor adherence, therapist adherence, and youth outcomes.
There is solid evidence that MST is highly effective—if it is followed with fidelity.