Predictors of Treatment Response to Brief Behavioral Treatment of Insomnia (BBTI) in Older Adults

Published in: Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, v. 9, no. 12, Dec. 2013, p. 1281-1289B

Posted on RAND.org on December 01, 2013

by Wendy M. Troxel, Tyler S. Conrad, Anne Germain, Daniel J. Buysse

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STUDY OBJECTIVES: The extant literature on predictors of treatment response to behavioral treatments for insomnia is equivocal and limited in scope. The current study examined demographic, clinical, and sleep characteristics as predictors of clinically significant treatment response to brief behavioral treatment of insomnia (BBTI) in older adults with insomnia. METHODS: Thirty-nine older adults with insomnia (67% females, mean age: 72.54 years) were randomized to BBTI treatment. Treatment outcomes were defined according to 2 criteria: (1) "response," defined as change in Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) score ≥ 3 points or increase in sleep diary sleep efficiency ≥ 10%); or (2) remission, defined as absence of a clinical diagnosis of insomnia according to standard diagnostic criteria. Logistic regression examined whether baseline demographic, clinical, or sleep characteristics predicted treatment outcomes at 1 month follow-up. RESULTS: Demographic variables did not predict treatment outcomes for either criterion. Higher anxiety, depression, poorer sleep quality, and longer polysomnography (PSG)-assessed sleep latency predicted greater likelihood of response at follow-up (p < 0.05). Longer sleep duration at baseline (measured by sleep diary and PSG) predicted greater likelihood of the remission at follow-up (p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: Patients with insomnia who have greater distress at baseline or prolonged sleep latency are more likely to show positive response to BBTI. In contrast, short sleepers at baseline are less likely to have resolution of insomnia diagnosis following BBTI, perhaps due to the sleep restriction component of the treatment. Identifying the characteristics that predict positive BBTI treatment outcomes can facilitate personalized behavioral treatments to improve outcomes.

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