Examination of insomnia and insomnia treatment in psychiatric inpatients

Int J Ment Health Nurs. 2011 Apr;20(2):130-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1447-0349.2010.00711.x.


Despite the high comorbidity of insomnia with psychiatric illness, few studies have examined insomnia or insomnia treatments in psychiatric inpatients. The present study had two overall goals. First, we sought to describe insomnia symptoms in 76 US veterans hospitalized for a wide-range of psychiatric illnesses. Next, we sought to examine whether participation in one session of group therapy for insomnia was associated with improvement in Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) scores for a subset of these inpatients (n = 19). Data were extracted from the clinical charts of 140 inpatients admitted into the 26-bed psychiatric ward at the New Mexico VA Healthcare System. The majority of the veterans had clinical insomnia in the moderate-to-severe range, and only 18% of the sample reported no clinically-significant insomnia. There was a significant reduction in ISI scores approximately 1 week after attendance at the group therapy session, which appears to be unrelated to the length of hospitalization, but might be related to psychiatric stabilization. This is the first study to examine insomnia symptoms in a mixed, psychiatric inpatient population. Group therapy for insomnia might be a particularly useful treatment option given polypharmacy and substance dependency issues often arising in this population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Hospitals, Veterans / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Inpatients / psychology
  • Inpatients / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*
  • Mental Disorders / therapy
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Psychotherapy, Group
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / diagnosis
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / psychology
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / therapy
  • Treatment Outcome