Howard Markman and colleagues present two interesting new topics in their paper. The first investigates the effectiveness of relationship education programmes amongst low-income communities where only one partner attends. The second explores the potential for use of the PREP relationship programme in particular within Muslim communities.
Markman’s study invited either one or both partners of low-income couples to attend a shortened version of PREP. Although 7% of women and 35% of men did not show up initially, very few of those that started the programme missed any subsequent sessions. Both singles and couples reported that they found the sessions useful, suggesting that individual attendance is helpful. Interestingly non-attending partners reported they found the course as helpful as their attending partners, suggesting a strong transfer effect. Both singles and couples reported reductions from pre- to post- in their negative communication. The transfer effect was especially strong where men attended the sessions. This preliminary finding supports the use of relationship education programmes where only one partner may be attending, for example in postnatal clinics or in prisons.
The authors conclude with a discussion of the potential applicability of the PREP model in Islamic communities, drawing on PREP’s strengths of a focus on education and mutual understanding and also delivery by local trainers who are familiar with their audience.