Auricular Acupuncture and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia: A Randomised Controlled Study

Sleep Disord. 2016;2016:7057282. doi: 10.1155/2016/7057282. Epub 2016 May 8.

Abstract

Objective. The most effective nonpharmacological treatment for insomnia disorder is cognitive behavioural therapy-insomnia (CBT-i). However CBT-i may not suit everyone. Auricular acupuncture (AA) is a complementary treatment. Studies show that it may alleviate insomnia symptoms. The aim of this randomised controlled study was to compare treatment effects of AA with CBT-i and evaluate symptoms of insomnia severity, anxiety, and depression. Method. Fifty-nine participants, mean age 60.5 years (SD 9.4), with insomnia disorder were randomised to group treatment with AA or CBT-i. Self-report questionnaires, the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI), Dysfunctional Beliefs and Attitudes about Sleep scale (DBAS-16), Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), and Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale (HAD), were collected at baseline, after treatment, and at 6-month follow-up. A series of linear mixed models were performed to examine treatment effect over time between and within the groups. Results. Significant between-group improvements were seen in favour of CBT-i in ISI after treatment and at the 6-month follow-up and in DBAS-16 after treatment. Both groups showed significant within-group postintervention improvements in ISI, and these changes were maintained six months later. The CBT-i group also showed a significant reduction in DBAS-16 after treatment and six months later. Conclusions. Compared to CBT-i, AA, as offered in this study, cannot be considered an effective stand-alone treatment for insomnia disorder. The trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01765959.

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01765959