Dispensing good sleep health behaviours not pills: a cluster-randomized controlled trial to test the feasibility and efficacy of pharmacist-provided brief behavioural treatment for insomnia

Joanne M. Fuller, Keith K. Wong, Camilla Hoyos, Ines Krass, Bandana Saini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Behavioural therapies are recommended as the first-line treatment of insomnia; however, sedatives and hypnotics constitute the main treatment modality used in primary care. Community pharmacies provide a unique conduit for identifying and providing appropriate treatment for those with insomnia either purchasing prescription sedatives or seeking over-the-counter treatments. A feasibility study using a cluster-randomized controlled trial, testing the efficacy of trained pharmacists providing behavioural interventions such as stimulus control and sleep restriction to patients with insomnia, in improving insomnia severity was conducted. The intervention involved three pharmacy visits (baseline, 1 and 3 months follow-up). The control group received usual care and information sheets on insomnia. The primary outcome was the Insomnia Severity Index. Twelve community pharmacists (five control, seven intervention) in New South Wales, Australia were recruited and trained. These pharmacists, in turn, recruited 46 patients (22 control, 24 intervention (mean age 53.7 ± 18.4, 72% females) and delivered a brief behavioural therapy intervention. The overall decrease in Insomnia Severity Index from baseline to the 3-month follow-up in the intervention group, n = 17 (7.6 ± 4.3 points), was significantly greater than for the control group, n = 19 (2.9 ± 8.8 points) (mean difference 4.6, 95% confidence interval: 0.005–9.2, P = 0.05). However, when the effect of clustering was taken into account using a mixed-effects model, the estimated difference in Insomnia Severity Index (change from baseline to visit 3) between the intervention and control groups was not significant (group difference in Insomnia Severity Index change = 3.78, 95% confidence interval: −0.81 to 8.37, P = 0.11; intracluster correlation = 0.18). The study highlights the use of a novel venue to deliver brief behavioural therapies for insomnia using trained non-psychologist health professionals. Although, when cluster effect was taken into account, the difference in Insomnia Severity Index reduction between the intervention versus control groups was non-significant, the results highlight that reductions in insomnia severity can be gained using trained pharmacists providing brief behavioural interventions. Future research in this area is warranted, with appropriately sized studies using the conventional, robust randomized trial design.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-115
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Sleep Research
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • primary care
  • retail or community pharmacists, sleep health and patient care

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