Digital Therapy for Insomnia More Effective Than Sleep Education, Study Finds (American Journal of Managed Care):
A smartphone-based, Chinese culture–adapted digital cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (DCBT‑I) application improved insomnia severity compared with sleep education, according to findings of a study published in JAMA Network Open.
Researchers wanted to study the efficacy of this DCBT‑I app compared with sleep education using the same app … “To our knowledge, this is the first RCT [randomized clinical trial] in which the control group received sleep education provided using the same interface as an intervention,” said the researchers.
This study was a single-blinded RCT conducted from March 2021 to January 2022, with screening and randomization conducted at Peking University First Hospital in China. Following eligibility assessment, eligible participants were enrolled and allocated 1:1 to DCBT‑I or sleep education groups, and data were evaluated from January to February 2022. A total of 82 participants were included in the study, with 41 randomized to sleep education and 41 randomized to DCBT‑I.
The DCBT‑I group significantly outperformed the control group in improved insomnia severity and subjective sleep quality, demonstrating the intervention’s effectiveness. An exploratory analysis suggested that DCBT‑I might be also better than sleep education in terms of reducing depression and anxiety, improving quality of life, and some of objective sleep quality measures, but more study is needed.
Digital Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia Using a Smartphone Application in China (JAMA Network Open). Key Points:
- Question: Can a digital cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (DCBT‑I) application reduce insomnia severity in the Chinese cultural context?
- Findings: In this was single-blind randomized clinical trial including 82 participants, use of a smartphone-based and Chinese culture-adapted DCBT‑I app significantly decreased Insomnia Severity Index scores compared with sleep education using the same app.
- Meaning: These findings suggest that the Chinese version of DCBT‑I had good efficacy in reducing insomnia severity in the Chinese cultural context.
The Study in Context:
- CVS Health: Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) apps may help you more than sleeping pills
- NICE in the UK issues recommendation for Sleepio app
- First Digital Health Formulary by Express Scripts includes CBT-based programs to treat depression, anxiety and insomnia
- A call to action: We need the right incentives to guide ethical innovation in neurotech and healthcare
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