A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial of the Strength at Home Men’s Program for Partner Violence in Military Veterans

Objective: We evaluated the efficacy of the Strength at Home Men’s Program (SAH-M), a trauma-informed group intervention based on a social information processing model to end intimate partner violence (IPV) use in a sample of veterans/service members and their partners. To date, no randomized controlled trial has supported the efficacy of an IPV intervention in this population.

Method: Participants included 135 male veterans/service members and 111 female partners. Recruitment was conducted from February 2010 through August 2013, and participation occurred within 2 Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals. Male participants completed an initial assessment that included diagnostic interviews and measures of physical and psychological IPV using the Revised Conflict Tactics Scales and were randomly assigned to an enhanced treatment as usual (ETAU) condition or SAH-M. Those randomized to SAH-M were enrolled in this 12-week group immediately after baseline. Those randomized to ETAU received clinical referrals and resources for mental health treatment and IPV services. All male participants were reassessed 3 and 6 months after baseline. Female partners completed phone assessments at the same intervals that were focused both on IPV and on the provision of safety information and clinical referrals.

Results: Primary analyses using hierarchical linear modeling indicated significant time-by-condition effects such that SAH-M participants compared with ETAU participants evidenced greater reductions in physical and psychological IPV use (β = 0.135 [SE = 0.061], P = .029; β = 0.304 [SE = 0.135], P = .026; respectively). Additional analyses of a measure that disaggregated forms of psychological IPV showed that SAH-M, relative to ETAU, reduced controlling behaviors involving isolation and monitoring of the partner (β = 0.072 [SE = 0.027], P = .010).

Conclusions: Results provide support for the efficacy of SAH-M in reducing and ending IPV in male veterans and service members.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01435512

J Clin Psychiatry 2016;77(9):1168–1175

https://doi.org/10.4088/JCP.15m10020