Home treatment-Especially effective among boys with externalizing disorders? Age- and sex-specific effectiveness of home treatment for internalizing and externalizing disorders.


Objective: Indications for home treatment for specific diagnoses in child and adolescent psychiatry have not yet been evaluated. Method: In a recent intervention study (primary outcome: length of stay), 92 patients aged 5 to 17 years were randomized into an intervention group (early discharge followed by home treatment in combination with inpatient treatment, where needed) and a control group (regular length inpatient treatment). The aim of this explorative analysis was to retrieve additional information on ‘what works for whom.’ Outcome parameters were as follows: Children’s Global Assessment Scale (CGAS), Health of the Nation Outcome Scales for Children and Adolescents (HoNOSCA), Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) and Columbia Impairment Scale (CIS) at T1 (within 14 days after intake), T2 (end of treatment) and T3 (O 8.4-month follow-up). Multiple regression was used to investigate the association between diagnoses, treatment setting, age, sex, and improvement in both groups. Results: In children externalizing disorders were predominant, whereas in adolescents internalizing disorders were prominent. Patients improved equally under both types of treatment. Home treatment, however, was rated by the patients to be significantly more effective in adolescents (SDQ p = .017), boys (CIS p = .009, SDQ p < .001), and with externalizing disorders (SDQ p = .005). Conclusions: Home treatment may be considered an alternative to inpatient treatment, especially in boys with externalizing disorders.