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Tools Vets with TBI Prefer for a Better Night's Sleep

22 Jul

Researchers from the Phoenix VA Health Care System explored alternative delivery methods for interventions for insomnia, designed to help OIF/OEF veterans who have experienced blast-related injuries and other trauma.

Although there is strong evidence for the efficacy and durability of CBT treatment for insomnia (CBT-I) in the general population, the motivation, attention and adherence CBT requires may be difficult for patients with mild traumatic injury. Therefore, modifications to these protocols and alternatives were explored, to ensure effective implementation and positive outcomes.

The team interviewed 18 OIF/OEF Veterans who screened positive for mild traumatic brain injury; and 19 healthcare providers to determine the acceptability of insomnia treatments and preferences for the interventions and treatment delivery.

Veterans and providers had distinct preferences for insomnia treatment and its delivery.

The treatments the Veterans found most acceptable were also the ones they preferred: relaxation treatment and pharmacotherapy. The providers identified relaxation therapy as the most acceptable treatment.

Veterans preferred the individual treatment format as well as electronic methods of treatment delivery.
Despite some differences between patients and providers, a compromise through modification of empirically supported behavioral treatments is feasible, and implications for preference-based insomnia intervention development and testing are discussed.

Citation: Epstein DR, Babcock-Parziale JL, Haynes PL, Herb CA. Insomnia treatment acceptability and preferences of male Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans and their healthcare Providers. Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development. 2012 Aug;49(6):867-78. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award