Efficacy of cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia associated with traumatic brain injury: a single-case experimental design

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2007 Dec;88(12):1581-92. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2007.09.006.


Objective: To test the efficacy of a cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for insomnia in persons having sustained traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Design: Single-case design with multiple baselines across participants.

Setting: Outpatient rehabilitation center.

Participants: Eleven subjects having sustained mild to severe TBI who developed insomnia after the injury.

Intervention: Eight-week CBT for insomnia including stimulus control, sleep restriction, cognitive restructuring, sleep hygiene education, and fatigue management.

Main outcome measures: Total wake time, sleep efficiency, and diagnostic criteria.

Results: Visual analyses, corroborated by intervention time series analyses and t tests, revealed clinically and statistically significant reductions in total wake time and sleep efficiency for 8 (73%) of 11 participants. An average reduction of 53.9% in total wake time was observed across participants from pre- to post-treatment. Progress was in general well maintained at the 1-month and 3-month follow-ups. The average sleep efficiency augmented significantly from pretreatment (77.2%) to post-treatment (87.9%), and also by the 3-month follow-up (90.9%). Improvements in sleep were accompanied by a reduction in symptoms of general and physical fatigue.

Conclusions: The results of this study show that psychologic interventions for insomnia are a promising therapeutic avenue for TBI survivors.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Brain Injuries / classification
  • Brain Injuries / complications*
  • Cognition Disorders / classification
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Rehabilitation Centers
  • Research Design
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / classification
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / etiology*
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires