Does adjunctive digital CBT for insomnia improve clinical outcomes in an improving access to psychological therapies service?
Stott R., Pimm J., Emsley R., Miller CB., Espie CA.
BACKGROUND: Insomnia has a bidirectional relationship with broader mental health functioning, including anxiety and depression. Yet, poor sleep has historically been neglected as a specific treatment target in mental health programmes (Freeman, Sheaves, Waite, Harvey, & Harrison, 2020). METHOD: All patients over a 12-month period entering the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service endorsing a 'poor sleep' questionnaire item at assessment, were offered a self-guided digital sleep intervention, Sleepio, in addition to routine care. Sleepio is based on the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I). Propensity score matching established a non-Sleepio control group matched on demographic and baseline clinical measures. RESULTS: Patients who signed up to Sleepio (n = 510) achieved significantly better outcomes on core clinical metrics (PHQ-9, GAD-7, WSAS) than controls. IAPT recovery rates1 (on PHQ-9 and GAD-7) were 64.7%, versus 58% in the control group. Duration of clinical contact time was marginally elevated overall in the Sleepio group but by less than 1 h CONCLUSIONS: Significant clinical benefit was associated with the introduction of an evidence-based digital sleep intervention alongside other mental health interventions for depression and anxiety. Widespread deployment was achieved with immediate availability, minimal additional clinical time or staff training. This approach provides a feasible and highly scalable model for improving mental health outcomes in clinical services.