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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia Improves Sleep Outcomes in Individuals With Concussion: A Preliminary Randomized Wait-List Control Study.

OBJECTIVE: Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) is the gold standard treatment for insomnia, but there is limited evidence on the treatment effect of CBT-I in individuals after a concussion. Therefore, the main purpose of this study was to evaluate the treatment effect of CBT-I on sleep outcomes and postconcussion symptoms.

SETTING: This study was conducted at an academic institution. The CBT-I sessions were conducted using a teleconferencing system (Zoom).

PARTICIPANTS: Participants were eligible to participate if they were at least 4 weeks post- concussion, aged 18 to 64 years, and scored 10 or more on the Insomnia Severity Index. A total of 40 people were enrolled; 32 participants were included in analyses.

DESIGN: This was a randomized controlled wait-list study. Participants were randomized into starting the CBT-I intervention immediately after the baseline assessment or into the wait-list group for 6 weeks before starting CBT-I. Assessments were performed at baseline, 6, 12, and 18 weeks.

MAIN MEASURES: The primary outcome was the Insomnia Severity Index. Secondary measures included the Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index, Post-Concussion Symptom Scale, and Beck Depression and Anxiety Inventories. Statistical analyses included a repeated-measures analysis of variance, t tests, and mixed linear regression modeling.

RESULTS: There was a group-by-time interaction for the sleep outcomes but not for the concussion or mood outcomes. Differences were seen between groups on sleep outcomes, symptom severity, and depression. The treatment effect was maintained following CBT-I for all outcomes. Improvement in sleep outcomes was predictive of improvement in postconcussion symptom severity and number of symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS: CBT-I reduces insomnia in individuals with concussions, and improved sleep was associated with lower postconcussion and mood symptoms. These effects were maintained 6 to 12 weeks following the intervention.

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