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BackgroundInsomnia is common, and difficulty with daytime functioning is a core symptom. Studies show cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) improves functioning, but evidence is needed on its value for money. Quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), capturing length and quality of life, provide a standard metric by which to judge whether a treatment is worth its cost. Studies have found QALY gains with therapist-delivered and therapist-guided CBT, but most have not reached statistical significance. Estimates of QALY gains with fully automated digital CBT (dCBT) for insomnia are lacking.AimTo assess whether dCBT (Sleepio) for insomnia is associated with gains in QALYs compared with a sleep hygiene education control.Design & settingA secondary analysis of a large effectiveness trial of 1711 participants from the UK, US, and Australia.MethodEQ-5D scores, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence's (NICE’s) preferred measure of health-related quality of life (HRQoL), were predicted (mapped) from the 10-item Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS-10) Global Health scores and used to determine QALYs from baseline to 24 weeks (controlled), and to 48 weeks (uncontrolled).ResultsAt week 24, QALYs were significantly higher for the dCBT group, with mean QALYs 0.375 and 0.362 in the dCBT and control groups, respectively. The mean difference was 0.014 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.008 to 0.019), and this difference was maintained over the 48-week study period (0.026, 95% CI = 0.016 to 0.036). The difference of 0.026 QALYs is equivalent to 9.5 days in perfect health.ConclusionSleepio is associated with statistically significant gains in QALYs over time compared with control. Findings may be used to power future studies and inform cost-effectiveness analyses of automated dCBT for insomnia scaled to a population level.

Original publication




Journal article




Royal College of General Practitioners

Publication Date





BJGPO.2022.0090 - BJGPO.2022.0090