Impact of group treatment for insomnia on daytime symptomatology: Analyses from a randomized controlled trial in primary care

Research paper by Christina Sandlund, Jerker Hetta; Gunnar H. Nilsson; Mirjam Ekstedt; Jeanette Westman

Indexed on: 11 Jun '18Published on: 09 Jun '18Published in: International Journal of Nursing Studies


Publication date: September 2018 Source:International Journal of Nursing Studies, Volume 85 Author(s): Christina Sandlund, Jerker Hetta, Gunnar H. Nilsson, Mirjam Ekstedt, Jeanette Westman Background People typically seek primary health care for daytime symptoms and impairments they experience in association with their insomnia. However, few studies address the question of whether insomnia treatment can improve such symptomatology. Objectives To investigate whether a nurse-led group treatment program, based on the techniques of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I), improved daytime symptomatology in primary care patients with insomnia. Outcomes Fatigue (Fatigue Severity Scale [FSS]; main outcome), mood (General Health Questionnaire and Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale), health-related quality of life (Short-Form Health Survey), general daytime functioning, specific daytime symptoms (individual items from the Insomnia Severity Index and Uppsala Sleep Inventory), and dysfunctional beliefs (Dysfunctional Beliefs and Attitudes about Sleep). Design A randomized controlled trial including baseline and post-treatment assessment and a 1-year post-treatment follow-up of the intervention group. Settings Seven primary health care centers (Stockholm, Sweden). Participants One hundred and sixty-five primary care patients who meet the criteria for insomnia disorder (mean age 54 years, SD 16). Most were women (73%). Exclusion criteria: severe untreated illness, bipolar disorder, current stressful life event, night shift work, and untreated sleep disorder other than insomnia. Methods Data came from a randomized controlled trial of a 10-week nurse-led group treatment for insomnia based on CBT-I (n = 90). The control condition was treatment as usual (n = 75). In accordance with intention-to-treat principles, analyses included data on patients who completed baseline assessments (intervention n = 82, and control group n = 71; post-treatment dropout rate 20%). Fifty-four patients were included in the 1-year follow-up. Results Fatigue severity improved significantly more (p < 0.001) in the intervention than in the control group (intervention, total FSS score 37.2 [SD 11.9] to 31.0 [SD 13.4] vs. control 35.9 [SD 12.1] to 35.7 [SD 12.8]). This was true also for measurements on mood (psychological distress and depressive symptoms), health-related quality of life (mental functioning), general daytime functioning, specific daytime symptoms (worry about sleep, sleepiness, bodily tiredness, and difficulty concentrating) and dysfunctional beliefs. All improvements were maintained one year after group treatment. Conclusions Many aspects of the daytime symptomatology of insomnia were improved via nurse-led group treatment based on CBT-I in primary health care.

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