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  • British Association for Psychopharmacology consensus statement on evidence-based treatment of insomnia, parasomnias and circadian rhythm disorders.

    3 July 2018

    Sleep disorders are common in the general population and even more so in clinical practice, yet are relatively poorly understood by doctors and other health care practitioners. These British Association for Psychopharmacology guidelines are designed to address this problem by providing an accessible up-to-date and evidence-based outline of the major issues, especially those relating to reliable diagnosis and appropriate treatment. A consensus meeting was held in London in May 2009. Those invited to attend included BAP members, representative clinicians with a strong interest in sleep disorders and recognized experts and advocates in the field, including a representative from mainland Europe and the USA. Presenters were asked to provide a review of the literature and identification of the standard of evidence in their area, with an emphasis on meta-analyses, systematic reviews and randomized controlled trials where available, plus updates on current clinical practice. Each presentation was followed by discussion, aimed to reach consensus where the evidence and/or clinical experience was considered adequate or otherwise to flag the area as a direction for future research. A draft of the proceedings was then circulated to all participants for comment. Key subsequent publications were added by the writer and speakers at draft stage. All comments were incorporated as far as possible in the final document, which represents the views of all participants although the authors take final responsibility for the document.

  • Attention bias for sleep-related stimuli in primary insomnia and delayed sleep phase syndrome using the dot-probe task.

    3 July 2018

    STUDY OBJECTIVES: Cognitive models of primary insomnia (PI) suggest attention bias as a maintaining process. This study used a hallmark measure of attention bias, the dot-probe task, to determine whether attention bias to sleep-related stimuli is present in individuals with PI. Control groups of good sleepers (GS) and individuals with delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS), a sleep disorder with no presumed cognitive pathway and, hence, no predicted association with attention bias, were included. DESIGN: A between-groups (PI, DSPS, GS) design was employed. Participants completed a dot-probe task with stimuli comprising sleep-related and neutral words, balanced for length and frequency of usage. It was predicted a priori that PI would show greater attention bias to sleep stimuli compared with GS and DSPS groups. No difference between GS and DSPS was predicted. PARTICIPANTS: Sixty-three individuals completed the study (PI = 21; DSPS = 22; GS = 20), with those in PI and DSPS classified by International Classification of Sleep Disorders criteria according to self-report sleep diaries and actigraphy. GS scored < 5 on the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, reported being good sleepers, and met no criteria for a current or previous sleep disorder. INTERVENTIONS: N/A. MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS: As predicted, PI showed increased vigilance for sleep-related stimuli relative to GS and DSPS. No differences between GS and those with DSPS were found. The PI group showed shorter response latencies relative to the GS and DSPS groups. CONCLUSIONS: Results support an association between attention bias and PI. Further work must determine whether or not attention bias is a causal factor. Speeded responses in the PI group suggest heightened arousal, indicating that physiologic factors may play a related role.

  • Psychological and behavioral treatment of insomnia:update of the recent evidence (1998-2004).

    3 July 2018

    BACKGROUND: Recognition that psychological and behavioral factors play an important role in insomnia has led to increased interest in therapies targeting these factors. A review paper published in 1999 summarized the evidence regarding the efficacy of psychological and behavioral treatments for persistent insomnia. The present review provides an update of the evidence published since the original paper. As with the original paper, this review was conducted by a task force commissioned by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine in order to update its practice parameters on psychological and behavioral therapies for insomnia. METHODS: A systematic review was conducted on 37 treatment studies (N = 2246 subjects/patients) published between 1998 and 2004 inclusively and identified through Psyclnfo and Medline searches. Each study was systematically reviewed with a standard coding sheet and the following information was extracted: Study design, sample (number of participants, age, gender), diagnosis, type of treatments and controls, primary and secondary outcome measures, and main findings. Criteria for inclusion of a study were as follows: (a) the main sleep diagnosis was insomnia (primary or comorbid), (b) at least 1 treatment condition was psychological or behavioral in content, (c) the study design was a randomized controlled trial, a nonrandomized group design, a clinical case series or a single subject experimental design with a minimum of 10 subjects, and (d) the study included at least 1 of the following as dependent variables: sleep onset latency, number and/or duration of awakenings, total sleep time, sleep efficiency, or sleep quality. RESULTS: Psychological and behavioral therapies produced reliable changes in several sleep parameters of individuals with either primary insomnia or insomnia associated with medical and psychiatric disorders. Nine studies documented the benefits of insomnia treatment in older adults or for facilitating discontinuation of medication among chronic hypnotic users. Sleep improvements achieved with treatment were well sustained over time; however, with the exception of reduced psychological symptoms/ distress, there was limited evidence that improved sleep led to clinically meaningful changes in other indices of morbidity (e.g., daytime fatigue). Five treatments met criteria for empirically-supported psychological treatments for insomnia: Stimulus control therapy, relaxation, paradoxical intention, sleep restriction, and cognitive-behavior therapy. DISCUSSION: These updated findings provide additional evidence in support of the original review's conclusions as to the efficacy and generalizability of psychological and behavioral therapies for persistent insomnia. Nonetheless, further research is needed to develop therapies that would optimize outcomes and reduce morbidity, as would studies of treatment mechanisms, mediators, and moderators of outcomes. Effectiveness studies are also needed to validate those therapies when implemented in clinical settings (primary care), by non-sleep specialists. There is also a need to disseminate more effectively the available evidence in support of psychological and behavioral interventions to health-care practitioners working on the front line.

  • Development and preliminary validation of the Glasgow Content of Thoughts Inventory (GCTI): A new measure for the assessment of pre-sleep cognitive activity

    3 July 2018

    Objective. To develop a self-report measure (the Glasgow Content of Thoughts Inventory [GCTI]) for the assessment of pre-sleep cognitive activity in adults with sleep-onset insomnia. Design. A psychometric, scale development approach was used. Method. Over three consecutive nights, 12 people with insomnia provided 'live' audio-recordings of pre-sleep thought content, which were used to generate an item pool. The results were compared to the content and categorical structure of pre-sleep cognitive activity identified by Wicklow and Espie (2000), and commonalities in thought content were used to generate a draft scale. Following further piloting, a 25-item scale was developed and administered to two groups (29 people with insomnia and 29 good sleepers), along with other self-report measures, objective (actigraphic recordings) and subjective (diary) sleep indices, and results analysed to evaluate the psychometric properties of the scale. Results. The GCTI demonstrated evidence of construct validity, successfully discriminated between individuals with insomnia and good sleepers, and was significantly correlated with existing measures of sleep disturbance. A score of 42 yielded a sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 83%. The GCTI demonstrated good test-retest reliability (ICC = .88) and internal consistency (α = .87). Conclusions. The GCTI appears to be a valid and reliable instrument for use with patients with sleep-onset insomnia. © 2004 The British Psychological Society.

  • Development and preliminary validation of the Glasgow Content of Thoughts Inventory (GCTI): a new measure for the assessment of pre-sleep cognitive activity.

    3 July 2018

    OBJECTIVE: To develop a self-report measure (the Glasgow Content of Thoughts Inventory [GCTI]) for the assessment of pre-sleep cognitive activity in adults with sleep-onset insomnia. DESIGN: A psychometric, scale development approach was used. METHOD: Over three consecutive nights, 12 people with insomnia provided 'live' audio-recordings of pre-sleep thought content, which were used to generate an item pool. The results were compared to the content and categorical structure of pre-sleep cognitive activity identified by Wicklow and Espie (2000), and commonalities in thought content were used to generate a draft scale. Following further piloting, a 25-item scale was developed and administered to two groups (29 people with insomnia and 29 good sleepers), along with other self-report measures, objective (actigraphic recordings) and subjective (diary) sleep indices, and results analysed to evaluate the psychometric properties of the scale. RESULTS: The GCTI demonstrated evidence of construct validity, successfully discriminated between individuals with insomnia and good sleepers, and was significantly correlated with existing measures of sleep disturbance. A score of 42 yielded a sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 83%. The GCTI demonstrated good test- retest reliability (ICC = .88) and internal consistency (alpha = .87). CONCLUSIONS: The GCTI appears to be a valid and reliable instrument for use with patients with sleep-onset insomnia.

  • Psychopathology in people with epilepsy and intellectual disability; an investigation of potential explanatory variables.

    3 July 2018

    OBJECTIVES: There are few studies on epilepsy and psychopathology in people with intellectual disability (mental retardation) despite epilepsy prevalence rates that are thirty times higher than in the general population. The aims of this study, therefore, were to identify reliable, epilepsy-specific predictors of psychiatric and behavioural disorder in these patients, and to investigate reliable predictors of carer stress. METHODS: A database of 685 patients was compiled, from which 250 were randomly selected. Structured interviews were completed on 186 of these 250 patients (74%) (108 men, 78 women; mean age (SD) 35.5 (10.1)) comprising descriptive, clinical and functional components, and validated measures of psychopathology for which comparative data were available. Logistic and linear regression methods were used to identify predictors. RESULTS: One-third of patients with epilepsy and intellectual disability met criteria for possible psychiatric disorder, particularly affective/neurotic disorder; twice the comparison rates for intellectual disability alone. Behavioural problem levels, however, were lower than population norms. Regression models explaining modest amounts of variance (R(2)< or =24%) suggested certain seizure phenomena (greater seizure severity, more seizures in past month, lesser tendency to loss of consciousness during seizures) as particular risk factors for psychiatric disorder. General disability factors such as level of intellectual, sensory or motor disability and side effects of medication, however, contributed more to explaining behavioural problems. Around half of the family carers reported significant stress, and one-third exhibited clinically significant anxiety symptoms. Younger carers were more stressed, and side effects from patients' medication also contributed to carer stress. CONCLUSIONS: Although epilepsy in itself may be a risk factor for psychopathology in a minority of people with intellectual disability, some epilepsy-specific factors may predict psychiatric disorder. Behavioural problems need to be considered separately from psychiatric disorder because general factors, more closely associated with disability, are stronger predictors of their occurrence.

  • Families' perceptions of the one-way screen in the first meeting

    3 July 2018

    A survey was conducted of family members' perceptions of the initial family interview using a one-way screen with live consultation. There was a high response rate (95%, n = 43 families) and the majority of respondents (80%) perceived the overall experience as useful. Those who read the clinic's information leaflet in advance and felt able to share concerns about the process with the interviewer tended to forget about the screen more quickly. Those who read the leaflet were more likely to find the over-all meeting useful. The survey generated a number of suggestions to make this first meeting more 'user friendly'.

  • The effect of continuous positive airway pressure usage on sleepiness in obstructive sleep apnoea: real effects or expectation of benefit?

    3 July 2018

    RATIONALE: Placebo responses are complex psychobiological phenomena and often involve patient expectation of benefit. With continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment of obstructive sleep apnoea, greater hours of CPAP use are associated with reduced sleepiness. However, these open-label studies have not controlled for patient expectation of benefit derived from their knowledge of hours of device use. OBJECTIVES: To investigate the relative effectiveness of the use of real or placebo CPAP on daytime sleepiness. METHODS: Patient-level meta-analysis combining data on sleepiness measured by the Epworth Sleepiness Scale from three randomised placebo-controlled crossover trials. Mixed model analysis of variance was used to quantify the effects of real versus placebo device treatment, usage, their interaction and regression to the mean. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Duration of real and placebo CPAP use was correlated within patients (r=0.53, p<0.001). High use of real CPAP reduced sleepiness more than high use of placebo (difference 3.0 points; 95% CI 1.7 to 4.3, p<0.001) and more than low use of real CPAP (difference 3.3; 95% CI 1.9 to 4.7, p<0.0001). High use of placebo was superior to low use of placebo (difference 1.5; 95% CI 0.1 to 2.8, p=0.03). Twenty-nine per cent of the effect of high usage of CPAP (4.2 points; 95% CI 3.3 to 5.1) was explained by the expectation of benefit effect associated with high use of placebo (1.2 points ; 95% CI 0.2 to 2.3). CONCLUSIONS: A clinically significant proportion of the effectiveness of high CPAP use in reducing sleepiness is probably caused by patient expectation of benefit.

  • The natural history of insomnia: focus on prevalence and incidence of acute insomnia.

    3 July 2018

    Despite Acute Insomnia being classified as a distinct nosological entity since 1979/1980 (ASDC/DSM III-R), there are no published estimates of its prevalence and incidence or data regarding transition to chronic insomnia or remission. This lack of data prevents an understanding of: a) the pathogenesis of insomnia and b) when and how treatment should be initiated. The aim of the present study was to provide such data from two community samples. Samples were recruited in the USA (n = 2861) and the North East of the UK (n = 1095). Additionally, 412 Normal Sleepers from the UK sample were surveyed longitudinally to determine prospectively incidence, transition, and remission rates for acute insomnia and assess whether the acute insomnia was a first episode, recurrent episode, or co-morbid with symptoms of other illnesses. The prevalence of acute insomnia was 9.5% (USA) and 7.9%(UK). The prevalence of three acute insomnia subtypes in the UK were; First-Onset Acute Insomnia 2.6%; Recurrent Acute Insomnia 3.8%; and 1.4% Co-morbid Acute Insomnia. The annual incidence of acute insomnia in the UK sample was between 31.2% and 36.6%. Remission rates fluctuated depending upon the definition of acute insomnia and whether the current episode was first-onset or recurrent. These findings provide preliminary insights into the natural history of insomnia. Such data will serve to inform how and when acute insomnia should be managed and whether such interventions may serve to diminish subsequent morbidity, particularly with respect to Major Depression.