Long-Term Effectiveness of Treatment-as-Usual Couple Therapy for Military Veterans

Kathryn M. Nowlan, Emily J. Georgia, Brian Doss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Despite the fact that veterans face increased psychological and relationship distress as a result of their service-related experiences, no study to date has explored the long-term effectiveness of couple therapy for veterans. In the present investigation, 238 individuals (113 couples and 12 additional individuals) completed assessments 18 months after termination of treatment-as-usual couple therapy at two Veteran Administration Medical Centers. From pretreatment to 18-month follow-up, couples experienced significant increases in relationship satisfaction (d = 0.59) and significant decreases in both psychological distress (d = -0.31) and presence of intimate partner violence (d = -0.47). Overall, pretreatment demographic, psychological, and relationship characteristics did not significantly moderate maintenance of gains across 18 months. However, African American individuals (d = -0.58) and individuals not reporting intimate partner violence at pretreatment (d = -0.46) experienced smaller improvements in relationship satisfaction through 18-month follow-up. Further, older participants showed smaller reductions in psychological symptoms 18 months after treatment (d = 0.16). Thus, for many veterans and their spouses, treatment-as-usual couple therapy is effective at intervening in psychological and relationship distress long-term. Moreover, the long-term effectiveness of couple therapy with veterans appears to generalize across many demographic, intrapersonal, and interpersonal factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalBehavior Therapy
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Sep 14 2016

Fingerprint

Couples Therapy
Veterans
Psychology
Demography
United States Department of Veterans Affairs
Spouses
African Americans
Therapeutics
Maintenance

Keywords

  • Couples therapy
  • Mental health
  • Relationship satisfaction
  • Veterans
  • Violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology

Cite this

Long-Term Effectiveness of Treatment-as-Usual Couple Therapy for Military Veterans. / Nowlan, Kathryn M.; Georgia, Emily J.; Doss, Brian.

In: Behavior Therapy, 14.09.2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{dbf52838d7004f3aa82ba44f9b3d3ccb,
title = "Long-Term Effectiveness of Treatment-as-Usual Couple Therapy for Military Veterans",
abstract = "Despite the fact that veterans face increased psychological and relationship distress as a result of their service-related experiences, no study to date has explored the long-term effectiveness of couple therapy for veterans. In the present investigation, 238 individuals (113 couples and 12 additional individuals) completed assessments 18 months after termination of treatment-as-usual couple therapy at two Veteran Administration Medical Centers. From pretreatment to 18-month follow-up, couples experienced significant increases in relationship satisfaction (d = 0.59) and significant decreases in both psychological distress (d = -0.31) and presence of intimate partner violence (d = -0.47). Overall, pretreatment demographic, psychological, and relationship characteristics did not significantly moderate maintenance of gains across 18 months. However, African American individuals (d = -0.58) and individuals not reporting intimate partner violence at pretreatment (d = -0.46) experienced smaller improvements in relationship satisfaction through 18-month follow-up. Further, older participants showed smaller reductions in psychological symptoms 18 months after treatment (d = 0.16). Thus, for many veterans and their spouses, treatment-as-usual couple therapy is effective at intervening in psychological and relationship distress long-term. Moreover, the long-term effectiveness of couple therapy with veterans appears to generalize across many demographic, intrapersonal, and interpersonal factors.",
keywords = "Couples therapy, Mental health, Relationship satisfaction, Veterans, Violence",
author = "Nowlan, {Kathryn M.} and Georgia, {Emily J.} and Brian Doss",
year = "2016",
month = "9",
day = "14",
doi = "10.1016/j.beth.2017.05.007",
language = "English (US)",
journal = "Behavior Therapy",
issn = "0005-7894",
publisher = "Elsevier Inc.",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Long-Term Effectiveness of Treatment-as-Usual Couple Therapy for Military Veterans

AU - Nowlan, Kathryn M.

AU - Georgia, Emily J.

AU - Doss, Brian

PY - 2016/9/14

Y1 - 2016/9/14

N2 - Despite the fact that veterans face increased psychological and relationship distress as a result of their service-related experiences, no study to date has explored the long-term effectiveness of couple therapy for veterans. In the present investigation, 238 individuals (113 couples and 12 additional individuals) completed assessments 18 months after termination of treatment-as-usual couple therapy at two Veteran Administration Medical Centers. From pretreatment to 18-month follow-up, couples experienced significant increases in relationship satisfaction (d = 0.59) and significant decreases in both psychological distress (d = -0.31) and presence of intimate partner violence (d = -0.47). Overall, pretreatment demographic, psychological, and relationship characteristics did not significantly moderate maintenance of gains across 18 months. However, African American individuals (d = -0.58) and individuals not reporting intimate partner violence at pretreatment (d = -0.46) experienced smaller improvements in relationship satisfaction through 18-month follow-up. Further, older participants showed smaller reductions in psychological symptoms 18 months after treatment (d = 0.16). Thus, for many veterans and their spouses, treatment-as-usual couple therapy is effective at intervening in psychological and relationship distress long-term. Moreover, the long-term effectiveness of couple therapy with veterans appears to generalize across many demographic, intrapersonal, and interpersonal factors.

AB - Despite the fact that veterans face increased psychological and relationship distress as a result of their service-related experiences, no study to date has explored the long-term effectiveness of couple therapy for veterans. In the present investigation, 238 individuals (113 couples and 12 additional individuals) completed assessments 18 months after termination of treatment-as-usual couple therapy at two Veteran Administration Medical Centers. From pretreatment to 18-month follow-up, couples experienced significant increases in relationship satisfaction (d = 0.59) and significant decreases in both psychological distress (d = -0.31) and presence of intimate partner violence (d = -0.47). Overall, pretreatment demographic, psychological, and relationship characteristics did not significantly moderate maintenance of gains across 18 months. However, African American individuals (d = -0.58) and individuals not reporting intimate partner violence at pretreatment (d = -0.46) experienced smaller improvements in relationship satisfaction through 18-month follow-up. Further, older participants showed smaller reductions in psychological symptoms 18 months after treatment (d = 0.16). Thus, for many veterans and their spouses, treatment-as-usual couple therapy is effective at intervening in psychological and relationship distress long-term. Moreover, the long-term effectiveness of couple therapy with veterans appears to generalize across many demographic, intrapersonal, and interpersonal factors.

KW - Couples therapy

KW - Mental health

KW - Relationship satisfaction

KW - Veterans

KW - Violence

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85021052225&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85021052225&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.beth.2017.05.007

DO - 10.1016/j.beth.2017.05.007

M3 - Article

C2 - 29029680

AN - SCOPUS:85021052225

JO - Behavior Therapy

JF - Behavior Therapy

SN - 0005-7894

ER -