An uncontrolled trial of Couple HOPES - A guided online couple intervention for PTSD and relationship enhancement


Novel interventions that overcome limited access to empirically supported psychotherapies for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are sorely needed. Couple helping overcome PTSD and enhance relationships (HOPES), a guided, online couple intervention drawing from cognitive-behavioral conjoint therapy (CBCT) for PTSD (Monson, 2012), was designed to decrease PTSD symptoms and improve relationship satisfaction. The present study is the first uncontrolled trial of 17 couples in which one partner was a military member, veteran, or first responder and had probable PTSD (PTSD+ partner) based on self-report assessment. Intent-to-intervene analyses revealed significant improvements from pre- to postintervention in PTSD+ partners’ self-reported PTSD symptoms (g = .72), as well as their intimate partner’s relationship satisfaction (g = .34) and behavioral accommodation of PTSD symptoms (g = .84). There were also significant improvements in PTSD+ partners’ depression (g = .43) and perceived relationship arguments (g = .62). There were similar results found in the completer sample. There were no adverse events and high satisfaction with the intervention in those who completed the evaluation. These findings provide additional initial data on the safety, feasibility, and efficacy of Couple HOPES. The similarities of intent-to-intervene and completer results, as well as the need for randomized controlled trial designs to test Couple HOPES, are discussed.

In Journal of Family Psychology

Full Citation:
Monson, C.M., Wagner, A.C., Crenshaw, A.O., Whitfield, K.M., Newnham, C.M., Valela, R., Varma, S., Di Bartolomeo, A.A., Fulham, L., Collins, A., Donkin, V., Mensah, D.H., Landy, M.S.H., Samonas, C., Morland, L., Doss, B.D., & Fitzpatrick, S. (2022). The development of Couple HOPES: An uncontrolled trial of Couple HOPES: A guided online couple intervention for PTSD and relationship enhancement. Journal of Family Psychology, 36(6), 1036-1042.