Back to Journals » International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease » Volume 6

Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia comorbid with COPD is feasible with preliminary evidence of positive sleep and fatigue effects

Authors Kapella M , Herdegen, Perlis M, Shaver, Larson J, Law, Carley D

Published 24 November 2011 Volume 2011:6 Pages 625—635


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Mary C Kapella1, James J Herdegen2, Michael L Perlis3, Joan L Shaver4, Janet L Larson5, Julie A Law2, David W Carley1
Center for Narcolepsy, Sleep and Health Research, Department of Biobehavioral Science, College of Nursing, 2Section of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep and Allergy, College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA; 3Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA; 4College of Nursing, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA; 5Division of Acute, Critical and Long Term Care Programs, University of Michigan School of Nursing, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Background: Many people with COPD report difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep, insufficient sleep duration, or nonrestorative sleep. Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) has proved effective not only in people with primary insomnia but also in people with insomnia comorbid with psychiatric and medical illness (eg, depression, cancer, and chronic pain). However, CBT-I has rarely been tested in those with COPD who have disease-related features that interfere with sleep and may lessen the effectiveness of such therapies. The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility of applying a CBT-I intervention for people with COPD and to assess the impact of CBT-I on insomnia severity and sleep-related outcomes, fatigue, mood, and daytime functioning.
Methods: The study had two phases. In Phase 1, a 6-weekly session CBT-I intervention protocol in participants with COPD was assessed to examine feasibility and acceptability. Phase 2 was a small trial utilizing a prospective two-group pre- and post-test design with random assignment to the six-session CBT-I or a six-session wellness education (WE) program to determine the effects of each intervention, with both interventions being provided by a nurse behavioral sleep medicine specialist.
Results: Fourteen participants (five in Phase 1 and nine in Phase 2) completed six sessions of CBT-I and nine participants completed six sessions of WE. Participants indicated that both interventions were acceptable. Significant positive treatment-related effects of the CBT-I intervention were noted for insomnia severity (P = 0.000), global sleep quality (P = 0.002), wake after sleep onset (P = 0.03), sleep efficiency (P = 0.02), fatigue (P = 0.005), and beliefs and attitudes about sleep (P = 0.000). Significant positive effects were noted for depressed mood after WE (P = 0.005).
Conclusion: Results suggest that using CBT-I in COPD is feasible and the outcomes compare favorably with those obtained in older adults with insomnia in the context of other chronic illnesses.

Keywords: CBT-I, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, sleep disturbance

Creative Commons License © 2011 The Author(s). This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.