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Focus Group Study of Heart Failure Nurses' Perceptions of the Feasibility of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia.

Nursing Research 2023 November 11
BACKGROUND: People with heart failure (HF) often report insomnia with daytime consequences, including fatigue and decreased functional performance. Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia is an efficacious treatment, but few have access due to a shortage of trained sleep specialists. Access may be improved by offering it where people with HF receive care.

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions of nurses who specialize in HF regarding the value of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia to their patients, the feasibility of offering it in HF clinical settings, its delivery by nurses, and preferences for modes of delivery.

METHODS: We used a descriptive qualitative study design. We recruited focus group participants via email to American Association of Heart Failure Nurses members and through requests for nurse collaborators to distribute within their networks. We conducted focus groups via Zoom. After describing cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia and its efficacy for people with HF, we elicited perceptions about its value if provided in the HF outpatient clinical setting, facilitators and barriers to implementation, and other ways to increase access. We audio-recorded and transcribed the discussions. Two researchers coded the data and performed thematic analysis.

RESULTS: Four focus groups included 23 registered nurses and advanced practice nurses employed in outpatient HF clinics. We identified five themes: "Insomnia Overlooked," "Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia Works," "Nurses' Role," "Barriers and Supports," and "Modes of Delivery." Nurses endorsed the importance of insomnia to people with HF and the value of providing cognitive behavioral therapy. They expressed interest in evaluating and addressing sleep, the need for increased resources to address it, and multiple modes of delivery. All nurses believed they had a role in promoting sleep health but differed in their views about providing cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia.

DISCUSSION: Nurses specializing in HF support the implementation of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. Implementation studies are needed to identify effective methods to increase access to this efficacious treatment in outpatient HF clinical settings, including support and training for nurses who are interested and able to deliver it.

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