Efficacy of the web-based PaarBalance program on relationship satisfaction, depression and anxiety – A randomized controlled trial

Keller, Alina; Babl, Anna; Berger, Thomas; Schindler, Ludwig (2021). Efficacy of the web-based PaarBalance program on relationship satisfaction, depression and anxiety – A randomized controlled trial. Internet Interventions, 23, p. 100360. Elsevier 10.1016/j.invent.2020.100360

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Objective:
Although relationship distress is strongly associated with mental health problems, poorer social functioning and lower quality of life, only a minority of distressed couples engage in effective couples therapy. Common barriers are the financial burden, fear of being stigmatized, long waitlists and logistical concerns, such as the difficulty in scheduling appointments. Therefore, more accessible help for relationship distress is needed, such as internet-based interventions.

Method:
This study evaluates the efficacy of the German web-based PaarBalance program, an 18-sessions online program for couples and individuals in an intimate relationship. Participants with relationship distress recruited via the internet had access to the unguided self-help program for twelve weeks. A total of 117 individuals (N = 60 participated as couples, N = 57 participated without a partner) were randomly assigned to begin the intervention immediately or to a 12-week waitlist control group. The primary outcome was relationship satisfaction. Secondary outcomes included symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Results:
The intervention group showed significant improvement in relationship satisfaction (Cohen's d =0.77) compared with the waitlist control group. Small to medium effect sizes in favor of the intervention group, but no statistically significant differences were found regarding depression (d = 0.43) and anxiety (d = 0.45).

Conclusion:
PaarBalance seems to be an effective self-guided intervention to improve relationship satisfaction in people with relationship problems.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy

UniBE Contributor:

Babl, Anna Margarete and Berger, Thomas

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology

ISSN:

2214-7829

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Melanie Best

Date Deposited:

09 Apr 2021 16:56

Last Modified:

11 Apr 2021 03:08

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.invent.2020.100360

PubMed ID:

33520669

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/154531

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/154531

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