Aim: To estimate the point prevalence of insomnia, recognition and prescription behavior in primary care.
Methods: Nationwide sample of 539 primary care settings along with their characterization (stage 1). Standardized assessment of all attenders (N = 19.155 patients) on the NISAS target day using a sleep questionnaire (PSQI) and additional questions to cover psychosocial and additional clinical variables. All patients were evaluated by the primary care doctors using a standardized clinical appraisal questionnaire, including a CGI-rating.
Results: Prevalence insomnia according to DSM-IV was 26.5%. Recognition of presence of any clinically significant sleep disorder was 72%, recognition of insomnia was poor 54.3%. 85.6% of insomnia patients were rated as chronic. Close to 50% of all insomnia cases did not receive a specific insomnia therapy. Herbals, followed by hypnotics and sedatives and antidepressants were the three most frequent treatments applied, psychotherapy was only seldomly indicated.
Discussion: NISAS provides for the first time nationally representative estimates of interventions for insomnia in primary care. The relatively low treatment rates and the high proportion of chronic patients receiving longterm prescription of benzodiazepines seem to be critical. Priorities for future agenda to improve this situation are discussed.