Study backs benefit of insomnia DTx Sleepio on mental health (pharmaphorum):
The study – published in the journal Behaviour Research and Therapy – tested the Sleepio app developed by digital health specialist Big Health as an add-on to standard NHS care for anxiety and depression under the improving access to psychological therapies (IAPT) policy.
Patients who signed up to use Sleepio – a six-week digital cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) course – achieved significantly better improvement in symptoms compared to controls, with an IAPT recovery rate of nearly 65% versus 58% in the control group.
Users of Sleepio also reduced their use of high-intensity IAPT treatment, including personalised therapy delivered by mental health professionals, according to the researchers from Big Health and Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust. Around a million people are assessed by the IAPT programme in England every year.
“This evaluation revealed significant value in introducing an evidence-based digital sleep intervention at scale within a clinical mental health service,” they conclude … Big Health points out that treatment guidelines, including guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), recommend CBT as the first line treatment for insomnia. However, most patients are either given medications or placed on a long waiting list for therapy.
Does adjunctive digital CBT for insomnia improve clinical outcomes in an improving access to psychological therapies service? (Behaviour Research and Therapy). From the Abstract:
- Background: Insomnia has a bidirectional relationship with broader mental health functioning, including anxiety and depression. Yet, poor sleep has historically been neglected as a specific treatment target in mental health programmes.
- Method: All patients over a 12-month period entering the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service endorsing a ‘poor sleep’ questionnaire item at assessment, were offered a self-guided digital sleep intervention, Sleepio, in addition to routine care. Sleepio is based on the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBT‑I). Propensity score matching established a non-Sleepio control group matched on demographic and baseline clinical measures.
- Results: Patients who signed up to Sleepio (n = 510) achieved significantly better outcomes on core clinical metrics (PHQ‑9, GAD‑7, WSAS) than controls. IAPT recovery rates (on PHQ‑9 and GAD‑7) were 64.7%, versus 58% in the control group. Duration of clinical contact time was marginally elevated overall in the Sleepio group but by less than 1 h.
- Conclusions: Significant clinical benefit was associated with the introduction of an evidence-based digital sleep intervention alongside other mental health interventions for depression and anxiety. Widespread deployment was achieved with immediate availability, minimal additional clinical time or staff training. This approach provides a feasible and highly scalable model for improving mental health outcomes in clinical services.
The Study in Context:
- The FDA clears Somryst, Pear’s digital therapeutic to treat chronic insomnia
- CVS Health: Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) apps may help you more than sleeping pills
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- New report: Empowering 8 Billion Minds via Ethical Development and Adoption of Neurotechnologies