Objective: Sleep disturbance is highly prevalent among veterans. As an alternative to sleep medications with their undesirable side effects, nonpharmacological mind-body interventions may be beneficial for sleep management in primary care. The aim of this pilot study was to investigate whether a novel mind-body intervention, mind-body bridging (MBB), focusing on sleep, could improve self-reported sleep disturbance and comorbid symptoms in veterans.
Methods: This pilot study was a randomized controlled trial at the Veterans Affairs Salt Lake City Health Care System in which 63 veterans with self-reported sleep disturbance received MBB or an active sleep education control. Both interventions were conducted in two sessions, once per week. Patient-reported outcomes included the following: primary-Medical Outcomes Study (MOS) Sleep Survey, MOS Short Form-36V; secondary-Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression, PTSD Check List-Military, Five-Factor Mindfulness Questionnaire.
Results: At both Week 1 (1 week after the first session) and post-intervention assessments, while sleep disturbance decreased in both groups, MBB performed significantly better than did the control group. Furthermore, self-reported PTSD symptoms improved in MBB, while they remained unchanged in the control. Overall mindfulness increased in MBB, while it remained unchanged in the control.
Conclusions: This study provides preliminary evidence that a brief sleep-focused MBB could be a promising intervention for sleep and potentially other comorbid symptoms (e.g., PTSD). MBB could help patients develop awareness skills to deal with sleep-related symptoms. Integration of MBB into primary care settings may enhance care of patients with sleep disturbance and co-morbid symptoms.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.