On the comparability of pharmacotherapy and behavior therapy for chronic insomnia. Commentary and implications

J Psychosom Res. 2003 Jan;54(1):51-9. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3999(02)00547-0.


Recently, we undertook an empirical review using meta-analytic techniques to assess the extent to which these therapeutic strategies produce comparable outcomes. No differences between the two therapeutic strategies were found, except for sleep latency (SL). Behavior therapy demonstrated a greater reduction in latency to sleep onset as compared to pharmacotherapy. In the present paper, we provide a brief summary of our meta-analysis and then (1) critically review the outcomes and (2) place the findings into a larger context that takes into account what factors represent barriers to treatment and how can we insure that in the future patients will have increased access to behavioral sleep medicine services.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Behavior Therapy*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Drug Therapy*
  • Humans
  • Prognosis
  • Relaxation Therapy
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / psychology*
  • Treatment Outcome