Ehealth Coping Skills Training and Coach Support for Women Whose Partner Has a Drinking Problem

Rychtarik | Danaher | McGillicuddy | Barrick
Researchers will continue to develop and assess a web-based program to help women learn essential coping skills for living with a partner who has an alcohol abuse disorder.

Nearly 1 in 20 adult women in the U.S. are married to or living with an alcoholic or problem drinking partner. As a result, these individuals experience significant psychological and physical distress, utilize health care services to a greater degree than spouses of nonalcoholics, and incur overall higher healthcare costs. Improving their own physical and psychological health is important in its own right, but also may help facilitate partner drinking reduction, and buffer the negative effects of the partner's drinking on their children. However, institutional, psychological and socioeconomic barriers discourage these women from seeking help, and when they do seek help, the newer, empirically tested services are not within their reach. Novel, alternate delivery models are needed to overcome the barriers, and provide easy access to empirically evaluated services.

In response, researchers developed a self-paced, web-based coping skills training program for women living with a problem-drinking partner, called “StopSpinningMyWheels” (SSMW), that showed promise in an earlier pilot study. The current study will further develop the program by (a) updating and reprogramming SSMW to add responsive web-design, greater content personalization and increased transportability; and (b) adding a complementary mHealth app so women can use their smartphones to access SSMW content and interactivity. With these modifications added, SSMW will then be tested for its effectiveness in a large randomized clinical trial.

Principal Investigators
Robert G. Rychtarik, PhD
Research Institute on Addictions

Brian Danaher, PhD
University of Oregon

Christopher Barrick, PhD
Research Institute on Addictions

Neil B. McGillicuddy, PhD
Research Institute on Addictions

Funding Agency
National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse (NIAAA)

Grant Number