Telehealth Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Co-Occurring Insomnia and Depression Symptoms in Older Adults

Authors


  • This research was supported by National Institute of Mental Health grant MH086643.

Please address correspondence to: Kenneth L. Lichstein, Department of Psychology, University of Alabama, Box 870348, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States 35487-0348. E-mail: lichstein@ua.edu

Abstract

Objective

Telehealth has proven effective with a wide range of disorders, but there is a paucity of data on the use of telehealth using cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) with late-life insomnia and depression. This pilot study was designed to examine the feasibility and effectiveness of using telehealth to treat older adults with comorbid insomnia and depression living in rural Alabama.

Method

Five patients received 10 sessions of CBT for insomnia and depression. Patients were engaged in treatment via Skype from their primary care physician's office. Assessments were conducted at baseline, posttreatment, and 2-month follow-up.

Results

Patients exhibited clinically significant improvement in both insomnia (sleep diaries and Insomnia Severity Index) and depression (Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression) at posttreatment, and these gains were well maintained at 2-month follow-up.

Conclusions

These preliminary data suggest that telehealth may be an effective means of providing treatment to older adults, including underserved populations.

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