Internet-delivered insomnia intervention improves sleep and quality of life for adolescent and young adult cancer survivors.

Research paper by Eric S ES Zhou, Christopher J CJ Recklitis

Indexed on: 23 Jun '20Published on: 23 Jun '20Published in: Pediatric Blood & Cancer


Insomnia is common among adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer survivors. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) is considered the gold standard treatment. Standard CBT-I was designed for adults and not adapted to the unique medical, psychosocial, and developmental needs of AYA cancer survivors, which can exacerbate their insomnia. Further, the vast majority of cancer centers do not have a behavioral sleep medicine expert on staff. Our study objective was to examine the efficacy of an Internet-delivered CBT-I program that was tailored for AYA cancer survivors (NCT03279055). Twenty-two AYA cancer survivors (mean age 20.4; range 14-25) with insomnia enrolled in an automated CBT-I program modified for AYA cancer survivors following stakeholder feedback. Participants were blood cancer (54.5%) and solid tumor (45.5%) survivors, an average of 9.7 years postdiagnosis. Sleep health, fatigue, and quality of life were assessed at baseline and at two follow up timepoints (8 and 16 weeks postbaseline). Significant improvements in insomnia severity, daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and quality of life were reported at both follow up timepoints. However, most participants (72.7%) did not complete all of the six study sessions, with a mean completion rate of 3.2 sessions. Participants who completed at least two sessions reported better sleep (insomnia severity index total score) than those who did not. An Internet-delivered insomnia intervention adapted for AYA cancer survivors was efficacious. This has important implications for access to evidence-based clinical care for this growing population. Future efforts should study stepped care models of care and ways to improve treatment adherence. © 2020 Wiley Periodicals LLC.