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Pilot study comparing telephone to in-person delivery of cognitive-behavioural therapy for trauma-related insomnia for rural veterans.

Laurel Franklin C, Walton JL, Raines AM, Chambliss JL, Corrigan SA, Cuccurullo LJ, Petersen NJ, Thompson KE. Pilot study comparing telephone to in-person delivery of cognitive-behavioural therapy for trauma-related insomnia for rural veterans. Journal of telemedicine and telecare. 2018 Oct 1; 24(9):629-635.

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Introduction It is estimated that 70% of patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have chronic insomnia. A recent meta-analysis examined cognitive-behavioural therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) in veterans with and without PTSD, and suggested that most studies had questionable methodology, but generally supported its effectiveness in this population. Further, while CBT-I via telehealth (i.e. using telecommunication and information technology to deliver health services) has shown effectiveness for primary insomnia, it has not been applied to PTSD-related insomnia. Methods Veterans with insomnia who were diagnosed with PTSD ( n? = 12) or having significant subthreshold PTSD symptoms ( n? = 6) on the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale were randomly assigned to receive CBT-I in-person ( n? = 7) or by telephone ( n? = 11), to pilot test the potential effectiveness, acceptability, and feasibility of administering CBT-I in rural veterans. A six-week CBT-I protocol was delivered, and the veteran's insomnia was assessed at post-treatment and follow-up. Results Given the small sample size, Cohen's d was used to detect group differences, finding large effect sizes favouring the in-person delivery, until three-months post-treatment when this difference diminished. Most veterans found the treatment acceptable, regardless of mode of delivery. Based on the results, a larger project is feasible. Feasibility for a larger project is favourable. Discussion In summary, our findings uphold and extend previous research. Specifically, current pilot data suggest that telephone-delivered CBT-I may be able to reduce trauma-related insomnia symptoms. Future trials are needed to assess the effectiveness of CBT-I delivered to rural veterans with posttraumatic insomnia.

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