Long-Term Effects of Two Formats of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia Comorbid with Breast Cancer

Sleep. 2016 Apr 1;39(4):813-23. doi: 10.5665/sleep.5634.


Study objectives: The goal of this randomized controlled trial, conducted in breast cancer patients, was to assess the long-term efficacy of a video-based cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (VCBT-I), as compared to a professionally administered intervention (PCBT-I) and to a no-treatment group (CTL). An earlier report revealed that, at posttreatment, VCBT-I patients showed significantly greater sleep improvements than CTL, but that PCBT-I produced superior effects than VCBT-I on some sleep and secondary outcomes. In this report, long-term effects are compared.

Methods: Two hundred forty-two women with breast cancer and with insomnia symptoms or using hypnotic medications participated to this three-arm randomized controlled trial: (1) PCBT-I (n = 81); (2) VCBT-I (n = 80); or (3) no treatment (CTL; n = 81) group. PCBT-I was composed of six weekly, individual sessions of approximately 50 min, whereas VCBT-I comprised a 60-min animated video and six booklets.

Results: Study measures (sleep and secondary variables) were administered at pretreatment and posttreatment, and at a 3-, 6-, and 12-mo follow-up. Treatment gains were well sustained at follow-up in both PCBT-I and VCBT-I. As at posttreatment, the remission rate of insomnia at follow-up was greater in PCBT-I than in VCBT-I, which was greater than in CTL.

Conclusions: Although face-to-face therapy remains the optimal format to efficaciously administer CBT for insomnia in cancer patients, a minimal intervention, such as the video-based intervention tested in this study, produces significant and sustainable treatment effects.

Clinical trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT00674830.

Keywords: cognitive behavioral therapy; insomnia; long-term effects; minimal intervention; self-help.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / complications*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy* / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Pamphlets
  • Sleep
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / complications*
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / psychology
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / therapy*
  • Time Factors
  • Videotape Recording

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00674830