Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Improves Insomnia in Patients with Cancer

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According to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia significantly improves sleep quality and insomnia in patients with cancer, while armodafinil, a wakefulness-promoting agent, did not.

For the study, researchers sought to investigate the use of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia plus armodafinil would result in improved insomnia control in cancer survivors compared with cognitive behavioral therapy alone. The researchers enrolled 96 cancer survivors with an average age of 56 years.

Of those, 87.5% were female and 68% had breast cancer. Participants were randomly assigned to receive cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia plus armodafinil or placebo, armodafinil alone, or placebo alone. Each intervention was administered for 7 weeks.

Results showed that both cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia plus armodafinil (P = 0.001) and cognitive behavioral therapy plus placebo (P = 0.010) significantly reduced the severity of insomnia compared with placebo alone. Similar results were observed in regard to sleep quality and improvements in both areas continued 3 months following treatment. However, behavioral therapy plus armodafinil was not significantly better than behavioral therapy plus placebo (P = 0.421). Armodafinil alone was not significant better than placebo alone (P = 0.584). The findings suggest that cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia alone improved the severity of insomnia and sleep quality the most.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Improves Insomnia in Cancer
Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia significantly improves sleep quality and insomnia in patients with cancer.
In this study, the authors evaluated whether cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT–I), in combination with the wakefulness–promoting agent armodafinil (A), results in better insomnia treatment outcomes in cancer survivors than CBT–I alone.
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