Pilot Open Trial of the OurRelationship Online Couples’ Program in a Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Kayla Knopp, Katerine Rashkovsky, Chandra E. Khalifian, Kathleen M. Grubbs, Brian D. Doss, Colin A. Depp, Shirley M. Glynn, Leslie A. Morland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Military-related stressors place veterans at increased risk of intimate relationship problems, which are detrimental to physical health, mental health, and well-being. Couple and family interventions for veterans are effective, and veteran access to family-based care is mandated by law. However, many veteran couples experience barriers to accessing care. OurRelationship is a coached online relationship program that may help meet veterans’ needs for accessible couples’ interventions. Although OurRelationship is effective with community couples, it has not been implemented or evaluated in a Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center setting. The present study piloted the OurRelationship program at a VA site in the southwestern United States to examine feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effects of the program. Thirteen veterans and their partners enrolled in an open trial and provided baseline and postprogram data on relationship and individual functioning as well as qualitative feedback about their program experiences. Feasibility was supported by meeting recruitment goals, implementing all parts of the online program and coaching sessions, and a completion rate of 85%. Couples reported moderate to high satisfaction with the existing program but also suggested veteran-specific adaptations, including more attention to cognitive and mental health challenges. Veterans and partners exhibited small improvements in relationship satisfaction, distress, depression, and quality of life, with partners showing larger improvements in relationship conflict and quality of life. These results suggest OurRelationship can help expand access to family care for veterans; however, a randomized trial to evaluate the efficacy of a version of the OurRelationship program tailored to veterans is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCouple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Couples
  • Health care access
  • Online
  • Self-help
  • Veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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