I have recently completed two randomized clinical trials on DBT-C (7-12 years of age). The outpatient setting trial targeted children with Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder. Results of this trial indicated that DBT-C was acceptable to children and their parents and was significantly more effective in decreasing DMDD symptoms than Treatment-as-Usual (TAU). DBT-C had a significantly higher rate of attendance, treatment acceptability and satisfaction, and a significantly lower dropout rate as compared to TAU. Further, 90% of children in DBT-C responded to the intervention as compared to 45.5% in TAU, despite three times as many children in TAU as in DBT-C receiving additional psychopharmacological treatment.
The residential care trial was completed with children (only males) with a range of psychiatric conditions, including ADHD, Disruptive Behavior Disorders and Anxiety Disorders being most prevalent. Significant differences were observed on the main measure of outcome – the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), milieu staff report. Children in the DBT-C condition as compared to TAU had significantly greater reduction in scores on both the CBCL Internalizing and Externalizing scales.
Results of both trials were maintained at follow-up, and observed changes were statistically and clinically significant.