Couple treatment for alcohol use disorder andposttraumatic stress disorder: Pilot results from U.S. military veterans and their partners
August 06, 2015
Schumm JA, Monson CM, O'Farrell TJ, Gustin NG & Chard KM.
J Trauma Stress, Vol 28(3) 2015 Jun pp. 247-252. PMID: 25965768 [PubMed - in process]
We studied 13 U.S. male military veterans and their female partners who consented to participate in an uncontrolled trial of couple treatment for alcohol use disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder (CTAP). CTAP is a 15‐session, manualized therapy, integrating behavioral couples therapy for alcohol use disorder (AUD) with cognitive–behavioral conjoint therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Due to ineligibility (n = 1) and attrition (n = 3), 9 couples completed the study, and 7 completed 12 or more sessions.
There were 8 veterans who showed clinically reliable pre‐ to posttreatment reduction of PTSD outcomes. There were also significant group‐level reductions in clinician‐, veteran‐, and partner‐rated PTSD symptoms (d = 0.94 to 1.71). Most veterans showed clinically reliable reductions in percentage days of heavy drinking. Group‐level reduction in veterans’ percentage days of heavy drinking was significant (d = 1.01). There were 4 veterans and 3 partners with clinically reliable reductions in depression, and group‐level change was significant for veterans (d = 0.93) and partners (d = 1.06). On relationship satisfaction, 3 veterans and 4 partners had reliable improvements, and 2 veterans and 1 partner had reliable deterioration. Group‐level findings were nonsignificant for veteran relationship satisfaction (d = 0.26) and for partners (d = 0.52).
These findings indicate that CTAP may be a promising intervention for individuals with comorbid PTSD and AUD who have relationship partners.