Cognitive and behavioral therapy for insomnia increases the use of continuous positive airway pressure therapy in obstructive sleep apnea participants with comorbid insomnia: a randomized clinical trial

Alexander Sweetman, Leon Lack, Peter G. Catcheside, Nick A Antic, Simon Smith, Ching Li Chai-Coetzer, James Douglas, Amanda O'Grady, Nicola Dunn, Jan Robinson, Denzil Paul, Paul Williamson, R. Doug McEvoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVES: Insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) commonly co-occur which makes OSA difficult to treat with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). We conducted a randomized controlled trial in participants with OSA and co-occurring insomnia to test the hypothesis that initial treatment with cognitive and behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-i), versus treatment as usual (TAU) would improve insomnia symptoms and increase subsequent acceptance and use of CPAP.

METHODS: One hundred and forty-five participants with OSA (apnea-hypopnea index ≥ 15) and comorbid insomnia were randomized to either four sessions of CBT-i, or TAU, before commencing CPAP therapy until 6 months post-randomization. Primary between-group outcomes included objective average CPAP adherence and changes in objective sleep efficiency by 6 months. Secondary between-group outcomes included rates of immediate CPAP acceptance/rejection, and changes in; sleep parameters, insomnia severity, and daytime impairments by 6 months.

RESULTS: Compared to TAU, participants in the CBT-i group had 61 min greater average nightly adherence to CPAP (95% confidence interval [CI] = 9 to 113; p = 0.023, d = 0.38) and higher initial CPAP treatment acceptance (99% vs. 89%; p = 0.034). The CBT-i group showed greater improvement of global insomnia severity, and dysfunctional sleep-related cognitions by 6 months (both: p < 0.001), and greater improvement in sleep impairment measures immediately following CBT-i. There were no between-group differences in sleep outcomes, or daytime impairments by 6 months.

CONCLUSIONS: In OSA participants with comorbid insomnia, CBT-i prior to initiating CPAP treatment improves CPAP use and insomnia symptoms compared to commencing CPAP without CBT-i. OSA patients should be evaluated for co-occurring insomnia and considered for CBT-i before commencing CPAP therapy.

CLINICAL TRIAL: Treating comorbid insomnia with obstructive sleep apnea (COMSIA) study: A new treatment strategy for patients with combined insomnia and sleep apnea, https://www.anzctr.org.au/Trial/Registration/TrialReview.aspx?id=365184 Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN12613001178730. Universal Trial Number: U1111-1149-4230.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberzsz178
Number of pages12
JournalSLEEP
Volume42
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Dec 2019

Keywords

  • adherence
  • cognitive and behavioral therapy for insomnia
  • COMISA
  • comorbid insomnia
  • continuous positive airway pressure therapy
  • insomnia
  • obstructive sleep apnea
  • Continuous positive airway pressure therapy
  • Insomnia
  • Comorbid insomnia
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Cognitive and behavioral therapy for insomnia

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