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Treating Depression and Anxiety with Digital Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia: A Real World NHS Evaluation Using Standardized Outcome Measures

  • Annemarie I. Luik (a1), Sophie Bostock (a2), Leanne Chisnall (a3), Simon D. Kyle (a4), Nicky Lidbetter (a3), Nick Baldwin (a3) and Colin A. Espie (a1)...

Background: Evidence suggests that insomnia may be an important therapeutic target to improve mental health. Aims: Evaluating changes in symptoms of depression and anxiety after supported digital cognitive behavioural therapy (dCBT) for insomnia delivered via a community-based provider (Self Help Manchester) of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service. Method: Supported dCBT for insomnia was delivered to 98 clients (mean age 44.9 years, SD 15.2, 66% female) of Self Help Manchester. All clients received six support calls from an eTherapy coordinator to support the self-help dCBT. During these calls levels of depression (Patient Health Questionnaire, PHQ-9) and anxiety (Generalized Anxiety Disorder, GAD-7) were determined. Results: Depression (M difference-5.7, t(70) = 12.5, p < .001) and anxiety [Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7), M difference-4.1, t(70) = 8.0, p < .001] were reduced following supported dCBT for insomnia. This translated into an IAPT recovery rate of 68% for depression and anxiety. Conclusions: These results suggest that dCBT for insomnia alleviates depression and anxiety in clients presenting with mental health complaints in routine healthcare.

Corresponding author
Correspondence to Colin A. Espie, Sleep & Circadian Neuroscience Institute, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3RE, UK, and Big Health Ltd, 60–62 Commercial Street, London E1 6LT, UK. E-mail:
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Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy
  • ISSN: 1352-4658
  • EISSN: 1469-1833
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioural-and-cognitive-psychotherapy
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