Effectiveness of Abbreviated CBT for Insomnia in Psychiatric Outpatients: Sleep and Depression Outcomes


Please address correspondence to: Dr. Bruce Rybarczyk, 806 West Franklin St., P.O. Box 842018, Richmond, Virginia 23284-2018. E-mail: bdrybarczyk@vcu.edu



To test the efficacy of cogntive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) as a supplement treatment for psychiatric outpatients. Comorbid insomnia is prevalent among individuals with varied psychiatric disorders and evidence indicates that CBT-I may be effective for reducing insomnia and other psychiatric symptoms.


The present study randomly assigned 30 psychiatric outpatients (mean duration of treatment = 3.6 years) with low sleep quality and residual depressive symptoms to two sessions of CBT-I or a treatment as usual control group. Assessment included the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) for insomnia and the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) for depression at pretreatment and 4 and 8 weeks posttreatment.


Patients who received CBT-I demonstrated within group changes in PSQI and the PHQ-9 scores at both 4 and 8 weeks posttreatment, but did not show between-group differences. Additionally, 38% of the treatment participants achieved normal sleep at follow-up compared with none in the control condition.


This study provides preliminary evidence that abbreviated behavioral treatment has beneficial effects on residual insomnia and depression in long-term psychiatric outpatients.