Better Together: A Web-Based Relationship Education Tool

Better Together: A Web-based Relationship Education Tool

Health disparities have been documented in same-sex partnered women, including higher rates of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, cancers, and mental health disorders. Higher rates of smoking, substance use, and obesity are behavioral risk factors that contribute to these chronic health problems. Living in rural areas with fewer social supports and less access to culturally sensitive healthcare services may also contribute to health disparities in sexual minorities. Their stigmatized identity is linked to minority stress, a well-documented social determinant of health behaviors and outcomes. Coping responses are an important couple-level mechanism that link stigma-related (minority) stress and health in same-sex couples. Relationship education (RE) programming is a potentially effective approach to increasing positive dyadic-level coping skills that support health. In a sample of 40 female same-sex couples, investigators will test the hypothesis that couples who complete newly revised, web-based RE modules that target health-related coping responses to stigma-related stress will report immediate (post-intervention) and persistent (3-month follow up) positive effects on their relationship quality (e.g., positive communication and problem-solving, relationship satisfaction, perceived partner support), stigma-related coping behaviors, and health (e.g., reduced substance use, depression/anxiety, physical health symptoms). This intervention represents one of the first efforts to test the effects of a culturally appropriate web-based relationship education tool that specifically targets health-related coping behaviors in rural female same-sex couples, a stigmatized, high-risk, under-researched and under-resourced population.

No pharmaceutical medication involved
Patients and healthy individuals accepted

Behavioral - Better Together

The Better Together Intervention consists of a 7 self-paced online relationship education modules. Following an introductory and overview module couples will complete each of the following together on their web-connected device (computer, ipad, phone). Each module includes didactic material, demonstration vignettes, and guided discussions or skills building exercises. Module 1 focuses on identifying individual and relationship strengths; Module 2 focuses on destructive communication patterns, Mo more on

BetterTogether: Evaluating the Health Effects of a Culturally Appropriate Web-based Relationship Education Tool That Targets Stigma-related Coping Behaviors in Rural Central Appalachian Female Same-Sex Couples