Evaluation of Community Reinforcement And Family Therapy in the UK military community.

Bethany Croak*, Marc Archer, Hannah Harwood, Sharon Stevelink, Neil Greenberg, Laura Rafferty

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Background: Partners and family can play a key role in encouraging military service and ex-service personnel to seek help for their mental health. Community Reinforcement Approach and Family Training (CRAFT) was developed to equip concerned significant others (CSOs) of those experiencing substance use disorders with skills to encourage their loved one to enter treatment and improve their own well-being. It was adapted in the US for CSOs of ex-service personnel with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (VA-CRAFT).
Objective: This study aimed to evaluate an adaptation of VA-CRAFT for use with CSOs of serving and ex-service personnel experiencing PTSD and Common Mental Disorders in the UK (UKV-CRAFT).
Method: Acceptability of UKV-CRAFT was assessed with interviews with experts, namely key stakeholders (n=15) working in support provision for serving and ex-service personnel. In addition, individuals who took part in a small-scale demonstrative trial of UKV-CRAFT (three CSOs and three facilitators who delivered UKV-CRAFT) provided feedback .
Results: UKV-CRAFT was viewed positively, with interviewees highlighting that programmes like UKV-CRAFT filled a gap in provision for UK Armed Forces families as most services were only available to the serving or ex-service personnel. Interviewees praised how UKV-CRAFT enhanced CSO well-being and communication with their loved one. Concerns over the confidentiality of taking part in UKV-CRAFT were raised due to the perceived negative effects of highlighting a loved one’s mental ill health, especially for CSOs of serving personnel. Ideas for improvement included broadening access to all CSOs regardless of whether their loved one was seeking treatment.
Conclusion: Interviewees regarded UKV-CRAFT as a potentially useful intervention suggesting it could be proactively offered universally to support timely help-seeking if required. We recommend further evaluation of UKV-CRAFT on a wider scale, incorporating our recommendations, to assess its effectiveness accurately.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2282904
JournalEuropean journal of psychotraumatology
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2023

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