THE INFLUENCE OF MARITAL AND FAMILY THERAPY ON HEALTH CARE UTILIZATION IN A HEALTH-MAINTENANCE ORGANIZATION

Authors


  • David D. Law, PhD, is a Visiting Assistant Professor, School of Family Life, and D. Russell Crane PhD, is Professor, Marital and Family Therapy Program, 274 TLRB, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602; e-mail: DandSLaw@aol.com or Russ-Crane@byu.edu.

  • Support for this project was provided in part by a grant from the Family Studies Center, Brigham Young University, Provo UT. Originally presented as a doctoral dissertation to the Department of Family Sciences. The authors wish to acknowledge the contributions of the|advisory commitee: Elaine Marshall, Alan Hawkins, Richard Galbraith, and Weady Watson. A version of this article was presented at the 1996 annual meeting of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. An earlier draft of this article was given the AAMFT Outstanding Graduate Student Research Award for 1997.

Abstract

Research has shown that people reduce their use of health care after individual psychotherapy. However, little research has been done to learn if marital and family therapy has a similar effect. Subjects (n = 292) from a health-maintenance organization were randomly selected according to the type of therapy they had received. Subjects' medical records were examined for 6 months before, during, and after therapy. Those who received marital and family therapy significantly reduced their use of health care services by 21.5%. These results show an “offset effect” for marriage and family therapy.

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