Change in sleep symptoms across Cognitive Processing Therapy and Prolonged Exposure: A longitudinal perspective.

National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA, USA
Behaviour Research and Therapy (Impact Factor: 3.85). 10/2013; 51(12):817-822. DOI: 10.1016/j.brat.2013.09.008
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Sleep disturbance is a core component in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Although cognitive-behavioral treatments for PTSD reduce the severity of sleep symptoms, they do not lead to complete remission. The present study examines the impact of Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and Prolonged Exposure (PE) on subjective measures of sleep disturbance from treatment randomization through long-term follow-up (LTFU). Participants were 171 female rape victims with PTSD who were randomly assigned to CPT, PE, or Minimal Attention (MA). After 6-weeks, the MA group was randomized to CPT or PE. Sleep symptoms were assessed at baseline, post-MA, post-treatment, 3-months, 9-months and LTFU using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and nightmare and insomnia items from the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale. Change in sleep during MA, from pre- to post-treatment for CPT and PE, and from post-treatment through LTFU was assessed using piecewise hierarchical linear modeling with the intent-to-treat sample. Controlling for medication, sleep improved during CPT and PE compared to MA, and treatment gains were maintained through LTFU. CPT and PE were equally efficacious and improvements persist over LTFU, yet, neither produced remission of sleep disturbance. Overall, sleep symptoms do not remit and may warrant sleep-specific treatments.

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