Completion of a Stand-Alone Versus Coach-Supported Trial of a Web-Based Program for Distressed Relationships

Karen Rothman, McKenzie K. Roddy, Brian D. Doss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess program completion of the online OurRelationship program with varying levels of paraprofessional support in an effort to further examine the role of coach support in self-help couple interventions. Background: Although the OurRelationship program for distressed couples has been found to statistically improve relationship and individual functioning, the program's provision of paraprofessional coach support limits its dissemination and implementation. Method: Using an interrupted time series design, we compared completion rates of those who enrolled in a trial of OurRelationship with no coach support (n = 529 couples) to completion rates of a previous trial of OurRelationship in which couples were randomized to receive either one (n = 179 couples) or four (n = 177 couples) calls with a coach. Results: Individuals were statistically less likely to complete the OurRelationship program when they were not provided a coach than they were when provided with either one or four coach calls. Analyses of moderators of completion rates revealed that a coach was generally equally helpful across demographic factors and measures of baseline relationship and individual functioning; however, coaching was especially helpful for Hispanic individuals and those without elevated depressive symptoms at baseline. Conclusions: Even a single call with a coach yields higher completion of an online program for relationship distress. Implications: The findings highlight the growing need for tests of alternate types of program support, such as automated support, in an effort to reduce program costs and increase potential for dissemination without negatively affecting program completion rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-389
Number of pages15
JournalFamily Relations
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019


  • couples
  • online intervention
  • program completion
  • relationship distress
  • supportive accountability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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