Community reinforcement and family training and rates of treatment entry: a systematic review

Marc Archer, Hannah Harwood, Sharon Stevelink, Laura Rafferty, Neil Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Aims: Adaptations with different modes of delivery and target addictions have found highly divergent rates of success for Community Reinforcement Approach and Family Training (CRAFT). This study aims to clarify which (1) treatment components and (2) participant characteristics contribute to rates of identified patient (IP) treatment entry. Method: Systematic review of CRAFT evaluation studies of all designs (controlled and uncontrolled) with data synthesis and narrative analysis of addiction treatment services and university research departments in North America and Europe. Results: A total of 691 concerned significant others (CSOs), predominately female spouses/parents, participating in 20 distinct treatment conditions from 14 studies. The main outcome of IP treatment entry rate reported by CSOs up to 12 months after starting CRAFT with key predictors/correlates including IP addiction, IP–CSO relationship, CRAFT modality and integration of treatment for IP. Meta-analysis found CRAFT to be twice as effective as controls/comparison groups. Multi-modality treatment, including both individual and group sessions, yielded the highest IP treatment entry rates (77 and 86%), with progressively lower rates for individual (12.5–71%), group (60%) and self-directed workbook (13.3–40%) modalities. While all five studies targeting gambling addiction had consistently low rates (12.5–23%), other treatment components, including therapist training, treatment fidelity and integrating treatment for the IP, were implicated. Conclusions: Adaptations of Community Reinforcement Approach and Family Training for different delivery modalities and addictions have yielded widely varying rates of treatment engagement for the identified patient, with those offering the most comprehensive support to the concerned significant other, including individual and group sessions, having highest levels of engagement success.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1024-1037
Number of pages14
Issue number6
Early online date26 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020


  • Addiction
  • community reinforcement
  • meta-analysis
  • treatment entry
  • treatment modality


Dive into the research topics of 'Community reinforcement and family training and rates of treatment entry: a systematic review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this