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Cognitive behavioral therapy improves sleep and pain in people with osteoarthritis
Date:8/15/2009

Westchester, Ill. A study in the Aug. 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine shows that the use of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) is an effective treatment for older patients with osteoarthritis and comorbid insomnia.

Results showed that treatment improves both immediate and long-term self-reported sleep and pain in older patients with osteoarthritis and comorbid insomnia without directly addressing pain control. Participants who received CBT-I reported significantly decreased sleep latency (initially decreased by an average of 16.9 minutes and 11 minutes a year after treatment) and wake after sleep onset (initially decreased by an average of 37 minutes and 19.9 minutes a year after treatment), significantly reduced pain (initially improved by 9.7 points and 4.7 points a year after treatment) and increased sleep efficiency (initially increased by 13 percent and 8 percent a year after treatment). These improvements persisted in CBT-I patients (19 of 23) who were further assessed for sleep quality and perceived pain at a one-year follow-up visit.

According to lead author Michael V. Vitiello, PhD, professor at the University of Washington in Seattle, Wash., results indicate that insomnia is not merely a symptom of osteoarthritis but rather a co-existing illness. Vitiello said improving sleep can result in an improvement in osteoarthritis, which is particularly important because, at least in older adults, insomnia rarely exits by itself, rather it typically coexists with other illnesses, pain conditions and depression.

"The particular strength of CBT-I is that once an individual learns how to improve their sleep, study after study has shown that the improvement persists for a year or more," said

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Vitiello. "What we and others are showing is that CBT-I can not only improve sleep but that improvement of sleep may lead to improvement in co-existing medical or psychiatric il
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Contact: Kelly Wagner
kwagner@aasmnet.org
708-492-0930
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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