Comparing internet-delivered cognitive therapy and behavior therapy with telephone support for insomnia disorder: a randomized controlled trial

Sleep. 2020 Feb 13;43(2):zsz245. doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsz245.


Study objectives: Our aim was to compare the effects of Internet-delivered cognitive therapy (CT) and behavior therapy (BT) against a waitlist (WL) condition to better understand their unique contribution in the treatment of insomnia.

Methods: Two hundred and nineteen participants with insomnia disorder were randomized to CT (n = 72), BT (n = 73), or WL (n = 74). The treatment arms consisted of 10 weekly internet-delivered modules with 15 min of telephone support per week. At pre, post, and follow-up, participants completed measures of insomnia severity, sleep diaries, functional impairment, anxiety, depression, quality of life, adverse events, satisfaction and perception of content, workload, and activity in treatment. Measures of completed exercises, modules, therapist support, and platform logins were also measured at posttreatment.

Results: Moderate to large effect sizes for both CT and BT outperformed the WL on the majority of outcomes, with significant differences in favor of both therapy groups. Both treatment groups had significantly larger proportion of treatment remitters (CT: 35.8%, BT: 40%, WL: 2.7%) and responders (CT: 74.6%, BT 58.6%, WL: 10.8%) compared to the WL at posttreatment. There were no significant differences between the two therapy groups in terms of outcomes, except for sleep onset latency in favor of BT (6 min difference at posttreatment) and adverse events in favor of CT (CT 14.1% vs BT 43.2%).

Conclusions: This study indicates that both Internet-delivered CT and BT are effective as stand-alone therapies for insomnia disorder. Results highlight the need for examining which therapy and subcomponents that are necessary for change. identifier: NCT02984670.

Keywords: behavior therapy; cognitive behavior therapy; cognitive therapy; insomnia; internet-delivered.

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