Combat Vets With Insomnia Benefit From CBT Variation: The Virtual Doctor Will See You Now (American Psychiatric Association)

August 17, 2012 by

Sleep researchers devise novel ways to help military veterans and others overcome persistent insomnia.

Brief behavioral treatment can relieve insomnia in combat-exposed military veterans, said Anne Germain, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

As many as 70 percent of U.S. military veterans who served in Afghanistan or Iraq report having insomnia, she said at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies in Boston in June.

To help them, she and colleagues adapted and evaluated a two-session cognitive-behavioral treatment for insomnia (CBTI) they had devised for older adults in primary care settings (see Several Strategies Fight Insomnia in Mood-Disorder Patients; also see The Virtual Doctor Will See You Now below).

After being interviewed in person, 40 veterans completed questionnaires, kept sleep diaries, and wore wrist activity monitors to keep track of their schedules for 10 days. They then were randomized to a four-week active or control treatment.