Are changes in beliefs and attitudes about sleep related to sleep improvements in the treatment of insomnia?Behav Res Ther 2002; 40(7):741-52BR
Dysfunctional beliefs and attitudes about sleep are presumed to play an important mediating role in perpetuating insomnia. The present study evaluated the impact of cognitive-behavioral and pharmacological treatments for insomnia on sleep-related beliefs and attitudes and the relationship between those changes and sleep improvements. The participants were older adults with chronic and primary insomnia. They received cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT), pharmacotherapy (PCT), combined CBT+PCT (COMB), or a medication placebo (PLA). In addition to daily sleep diaries and sleep laboratory measures, the participants completed the dysfunctional beliefs and attitudes about sleep scale (DBAS) at baseline and posttreatment, and at 3-, 12- and 24-month follow-up assessments. The results showed that CBT and COMB treatments produced greater improvements of beliefs and attitudes about sleep at posttreatment than PCT and PLA. Reductions of DBAS scores were significantly correlated with improvements of sleep efficiency as measured by daily sleep diaries and by polysomnography. In addition, more adaptive beliefs and attitudes about sleep at posttreatment were associated with better maintenance of sleep improvements at follow-ups. These findings highlight the importance of targeting sleep-related beliefs and attitudes in the treatment of insomnia.