A randomized controlled trial of different levels of coach support in an online intervention for relationship distress

McKenzie K. Roddy, Karen Rothman, Brian Doss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Recently-developed online interventions for relationship distress show promising results; however, the degree to which paraprofessionals need to be involved with web-based interventions for relationship distress remains unclear. The present study sought to determine if varying levels of coach contact moderated gains during the online OurRelationship program, which was previously shown to be effective by Doss and colleagues (2016). Three hundred fifty-six heterosexual couples (712 individuals) enrolled in the OurRelationship program and were randomized to a Low or High coach support condition. Couples in both conditions experienced significant improvements in relationship satisfaction as well as depressive and anxious symptoms (within-group d = 0.43–0.71). Using intent-to-treat analyses, there were no significant differences over the intervention between groups in improvements in relationship satisfaction or depressive symptoms. However, couples in the high-support condition reported significantly greater decreases in anxious symptoms. Furthermore, couples in the low-support group were significantly more likely to drop out prematurely. Overall, results indicated that minimal coach support may be a viable option to facilitate dissemination of online interventions for relationship distress. This study was registered on ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT03332875).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-54
Number of pages8
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018



  • Couple intervention
  • Paraprofessional support
  • Web-based intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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