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Evaluation of the Strength at Home group intervention for intimate partner violence in the Veterans Affairs Health System

APA Citation:

Creech, S. K., Benzer, J. K., Bruce, L., & Taft, C. T. (2023). Evaluation of the Strength at Home group intervention for intimate partner violence in the Veterans Affairs health system. JAMA Network Open, 6(3), Article e232997. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.2997

Abstract Created by REACH:

This study investigated the effects of the Strength at Home (SAH) intervention, a 12-week, trauma-informed, group intervention for Veterans who have engaged in intimate partner violence (IPV). 1,754 Veterans completed surveys before and after treatment on their engagement in IPV (i.e., physical aggression, psychological aggression, coercive control, and reproductive control), their symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and their alcohol usage. Overall, the SAH intervention appeared to reduce IPV and improve Veterans’ PTSD symptoms and alcohol misuse.


Mental health

Branch of Service:

Multiple branches

Military Affiliation:


Subject Affiliation:

Military families


Adulthood (18 yrs & older)
Young adulthood (18 - 29 yrs)
Thirties (30 - 39 yrs)
Middle age (40 - 64 yrs)
Aged (65 yrs & older)


Cross-Sectional Study


Creech, Suzannah K., Benzer, Justin K., Bruce, LeAnn, Taft, Casey T.


Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a serious and prevalent public health issue that is interconnected with experiences of trauma, mental and physical health difficulties, and health disparities. Strength at Home (SAH) is a group intervention for persons using IPV in their relationships. Although previous studies have provided evidence of SAH’s effectiveness in reducing IPV, its patient outcomes as implemented within organized health care have not been examined.To evaluate patient outcomes from implementation of SAH in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health system.This quality improvement study evaluated patient outcomes from a national implementation and training program conducted between December 11, 2015, and September 24, 2021. Data were collected as part of treatment and submitted by clinicians at 73 VA health care facilities. Patients were 1754 veterans seeking care aimed at addressing and/or preventing their use of aggression in intimate relationships. They completed 1 pretreatment assessment and 1 follow-up assessment in the immediate weeks after group completion.Strength at Home is a 12-week trauma-informed and cognitive behavioral group intervention to address and prevent the use of IPV in relationships.Changes in IPV were measured with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey. Changes in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms were measured with the PTSD Checklist for DSM-5, and alcohol misuse was measured with the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test.The study included 1754 participants (mean [SD] age, 44.3 [13.0] years; 1421 men [81%]), of whom 1088 (62%) were involved with the criminal legal system for IPV charges. Analyses indicate that SAH was associated with reductions in use of physical IPV (odds ratio, 3.28; percentage difference from before to after treatment, –0.17 [95% CI, −0.21 to −0.13]) and psychological IPV (odds ratio, 2.73; percentage difference from before to after treatment, –0.23 [95% CI, −0.27 to −0.19]), coercive control behaviors (odds ratio, 3.19; percentage difference from before to after treatment, –0.18 [95% CI, –0.22 to –0.14), PTSD symptoms (mean change, −4.00; 95% CI, 0.90-7.09; Hedges g = 0.10), and alcohol misuse (mean change, 2.70; 95% CI, 1.54-3.86; Hedges g = 0.24).In this quality improvement study of the patient outcomes after implementation of SAH, results suggested that the program was associated with reductions in IPV behaviors, PTSD symptoms, and alcohol misuse. Results also suggest that IPV intervention in routine health care at VA health care facilities was successful; extension to other organized health care systems could be warranted.

Publication Type:

REACH Publication


Strength at Home, intimate partner violence, IPV

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REACH Publication Type:

Research Summary

REACH Newsletter:

  July 2023

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