Cognitive and behavioural therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) in psychiatric populations: a systematic review

Int Rev Psychiatry. 2014 Apr;26(2):205-13. doi: 10.3109/09540261.2014.902808.


Insomnia is highly co-morbid with psychiatric disorders, making it a frequent issue in treatment planning in psychiatric clinics. Research has also shown that although insomnia may originally precede or be a consequence of a psychiatric disorder, insomnia likely becomes semi-independent, and may exacerbate those disorders if it is not addressed, leading to reduced treatment response. Cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) is now recommended as the first line of treatment of primary insomnia. The research reviewed below indicates that CBT-I in patients with co-morbid depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance abuse disorders is generally effective for insomnia and sometimes the co-morbid disorder as well. Although more research is needed before definitive recommendations can be made, it appears as though CBT-I is a viable approach to treating the patient with co-morbid insomnia and psychiatric disorders.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / complications
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / complications
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome