Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia in stable heart failure: Protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Contemp Clin Trials. 2017 Apr;55:16-23. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2017.01.009. Epub 2017 Jan 31.


Background: Chronic insomnia is associated with disabling symptoms and decrements in functional performance. It may contribute to the development of heart failure (HF) and incident mortality. In our previous work, cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I), compared to HF self-management education, provided as an attention control condition, was feasible, acceptable, and had large effects on insomnia and fatigue among HF patients.

Objectives: The purpose of this randomized controlled trial (RCT) is to evaluate the sustained effects of group CBT-I compared with HF self-management education (attention control) on insomnia severity, sleep characteristics, daytime symptoms, symptom clusters, functional performance, and health care utilization among patients with stable HF. We will estimate the cost-effectiveness of CBT-I and explore the effects of CBT-I on event-free survival (EFS).

Methods: Two hundred participants will be randomized in clusters to a single center parallel group (CBT-I vs. attention control) RCT. Wrist actigraphy and self-report will elicit insomnia, sleep characteristics, symptoms, and functional performance. We will use the psychomotor vigilance test to evaluate sleep loss effects and the Six Minute Walk Test to evaluate effects on daytime function. Medical record review and interviews will elicit health care utilization and EFS. Statistical methods will include general linear mixed models and latent transition analysis. Stochastic cost-effectiveness analysis with a competing risk approach will be employed to conduct the cost-effectiveness analysis.

Discussion: The results will be generalizable to HF patients with chronic comorbid insomnia and pave the way for future research focused on the dissemination and translation of CBT-I into HF settings.

Trial registration: NCT02660385.

Keywords: Cognitive behavioral therapy; Heart failure; Insomnia; Self-management; Sleep; Symptoms.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Actigraphy
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Heart Failure / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Research Design
  • Self-Management
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / therapy*

Associated data