Interventions for families with multiple problems: Similar contents but divergent formats

L. Visscher*, D. Jansen, E. Evenboer, T. van Yperen, S. Reijneveld, R. Scholte

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


For families with multiple problems (FMP), knowledge is lacking on the practice elements of interventions (the distinct techniques practitioners use to promote positive outcomes) and their program elements (intervention design and delivery systems). The aim of this study is to identify both common and specific practice and program elements so as to determine contents and overlap between interventions. For FMP, we selected interventions that had at least moderate (>0.5) effect sizes in the Dutch context (N = 8). A deductive content analysis was used to assess the manuals of these interventions with the taxonomy of interventions for FMP. We defined as common those elements found in at least five of the eight interventions and as specific those found in fewer than five. Of the practice elements, 79% were common across the interventions, and 21% were intervention specific. Interventions with the highest percentages of intervention‐specific elements derived from the taxonomy were 10 for the Future (15%), Family Central (14%), Intensive Family Therapy (14%), and Multisystemic therapy (11%). Core program elements: duration, intensity, intervision, supervision, and consultation, varied greatly between interventions. Among interventions for FMP, we found practice elements to have considerable overlap. Among program elements, we found greater variety.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-17
JournalChild & Family Social Work
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • CARE
  • child and youth care
  • common elements
  • families with multiple problems
  • interventions
  • practice elements
  • program elements


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