A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia in Adolescents With Persistent Postconcussion Symptoms.

Research paper by Lianne L Tomfohr-Madsen, Joshua W JW Madsen, Dominique D Bonneville, Shane S Virani, Vickie V Plourde, Karen M KM Barlow, Keith Owen KO Yeates, Brian L BL Brooks

Indexed on: 10 Apr '20Published on: 28 Jun '19Published in: The Journal of head trauma rehabilitation


Cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) is an effective insomnia treatment but has yet to be applied to adolescents with sleep disruption following concussion. This pilot study evaluated CBT-I to improve insomnia in adolescents with protracted concussion recovery. Tertiary pediatric hospital. Participants (N = 24) were 12 to 18 years old (M = 15.0, SD = 1.4), 15.1 weeks (SD = 9.2) postinjury, and presenting with sleep disruption and persistent postconcussion symptoms. A single-blind, parallel-group randomized controlled trial (RCT) design comparing 6 weeks of CBT-I and a treatment-as-usual control group. Outcomes were measured before treatment, at treatment completion, and 4 weeks after completion. Primary outcome was Insomnia Severity Index. Secondary outcomes included Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, Dysfunctional Beliefs and Attitudes about Sleep Scale, 7-night sleep diary, PROMIS Depression, PROMIS Anxiety, and Health and Behavior Inventory. Adolescents who received CBT-I demonstrated large and clinically significant improvements in insomnia ratings at posttreatment that were maintained at follow-up. They also reported improved sleep quality, fewer dysfunctional beliefs about sleep, better sleep efficiency, shorter sleep-onset latency, and longer sleep time compared with those with treatment as usual. There was also a modest reduction in postconcussion symptoms. In this pilot RCT, 6 weeks of CBT-I produced significant improvement in sleep in adolescents with persistent postconcussion symptoms. A larger trial is warranted.