Article

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy vs Zopiclone for Treatment of Chronic Primary Insomnia in Older Adults

Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Hordaland, Norway
JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association (Impact Factor: 30.39). 07/2006; 295(24):2851-8. DOI: 10.1001/jama.295.24.2851
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Insomnia is a common condition in older adults and is associated with a number of adverse medical, social, and psychological consequences. Previous research has suggested beneficial outcomes of both psychological and pharmacological treatments, but blinded placebo-controlled trials comparing the effects of these treatments are lacking.
To examine short- and long-term clinical efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and pharmacological treatment in older adults experiencing chronic primary insomnia.
A randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial of 46 adults (mean age, 60.8 y; 22 women) with chronic primary insomnia conducted between January 2004 and December 2005 in a single Norwegian university-based outpatient clinic for adults and elderly patients.
CBT (sleep hygiene, sleep restriction, stimulus control, cognitive therapy, and relaxation; n = 18), sleep medication (7.5-mg zopiclone each night; n = 16), or placebo medication (n = 12). All treatment duration was 6 weeks, and the 2 active treatments were followed up at 6 months.
Ambulant clinical polysomnographic data and sleep diaries were used to determine total wake time, total sleep time, sleep efficiency, and slow-wave sleep (only assessed using polysomnography) on all 3 assessment points.
CBT resulted in improved short- and long-term outcomes compared with zopiclone on 3 out of 4 outcome measures. For most outcomes, zopiclone did not differ from placebo. Participants receiving CBT improved their sleep efficiency from 81.4% at pretreatment to 90.1% at 6-month follow-up compared with a decrease from 82.3% to 81.9% in the zopiclone group. Participants in the CBT group spent much more time in slow-wave sleep (stages 3 and 4) compared with those in other groups, and spent less time awake during the night. Total sleep time was similar in all 3 groups; at 6 months, patients receiving CBT had better sleep efficiency using polysomnography than those taking zopiclone.
These results suggest that interventions based on CBT are superior to zopiclone treatment both in short- and long-term management of insomnia in older adults.
clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00295386.

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