HealthDay News — Digital cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (dCBT-I) is effective for patients with insomnia, with the optimal treatment including a combination of medication and dCBT-I, according to a study published online in JAMA Network Open.

Menglin Lu, from Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study to examine the clinical effectiveness, engagement, durability, and adaptability of dCBT-I. A total of 4052 patients were selected for treatment with dCBT-I, medication, or combination therapy (418, 862, and 2722, respectively); outcomes were compared at months 1, 3, and 6.

Participants receiving both digital cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia and combination therapy had significant reductions compared with the change in the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index score at 6 months for patients receiving medication alone (from a mean of 13.51 to 7.15 and 12.92 to 6.98, respectively, vs 12.85 to 8.92); the effect of dCBT-I was comparable to that of combination therapy but showed unstable durability. During the first 3 months, the outcomes of dCBT-I improved steadily and rapidly, then fluctuated. Higher response rates were seen with dCBT-I and combination therapy compared with medication. Significant benefits were seen from dCBT-I and combination therapy in secondary outcomes.

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“These positive findings provide clinical evidence that dCBT-I contributes to meaningful sleep improvements,” the authors wrote. “Given the unstable durability of dCBT-I at 6-month follow-up, the design, implementation, and delivery of dCBT-I in the practice setting warrants further investigation.”

One author disclosed financial ties to Hangzhou slan-health.

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