Category: Couples / Close Relationships

Symposium

A Randomized Controlled Trial of Coach Support in OurRelationship.com

Saturday, November 18
1:45 PM - 3:15 PM
Location: Indigo Ballroom E, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: Couple Therapy | Couples / Close Relationships | Technology / Mobile Health
Presentation Type: Symposium

Online interventions for distressed couples show promising results; however, dissemination is currently limited by the involvement of coaches in those interventions. Recent research in the individual psychopathology literature suggests that, with careful intervention design, increased contact does not result in significantly greater gains (Dear et al., 2015). To further disseminate online interventions for couples, we need to understand how much coach contact is needed for maximum benefit.


A sample of 712 individuals (356 heterosexual couples) enrolled in the OurRelationship (OR) online program and were randomized to high or low coach support. Couples in the high support group received four calls over the duration of the program (mean total time = 43.75 min; SD = 17.17), and couples in the low support group received one call during the program (mean total time = 15.38 min; SD = 6.88). All other program content was consistent between groups.


Individuals in the low support group were significantly more likely to dropout (56.7%) than individuals in the high support group [33.9%; χ2 (1) = 37.351, p < .001]. Intent-to-treat results showed both the low support (within-group d = 0.52, p < .001) and the high support (within-group d = 0.61, p p = 0.434). Additionally, both the low support (within-group d = -0.43, p d = -0.59, p < 0.001) groups experienced significant decreases in depressive symptoms over the course of the program, and the difference between the groups was not significant (p = 0.100). Finally, both groups experienced significant decreases in anxiety symptoms (low support within-group d = -0.47, p < .001; high support within-group d = -0.71, p < .001); however, there was a significant difference between groups (b = 1.215, p = 0.010) such that the high support group had greater decreases in symptoms. 


There were few differences between the low and high support groups on the intent-to-treat analyses, suggesting that a one-call condition may be a viable model to increase the reach of the program at a lower cost.  However, both conditions need to seek ways to increase completion rates. 

McKenzie Roddy

Graduate Student
University of Miami

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