Telehealth cognitive behaviour therapy for the management of sleep disturbance in women with early breast cancer receiving chemotherapy: a feasibility study

Emma-Kate Carson, Haryana M. Dhillon, Janette L. Vardy, Chris Brown, Kelly Ferrao Nunes-Zlotkowski, Stephen Della-Fiorentina, Sarah Khan, Andrew Parsonson, Felicia Roncoloato, Antonia Pearson, Tristan Barnes, Belinda E. Kiely

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Abstract

Purpose: Sleep quality commonly deteriorates in people receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer (BC). We aimed to determine feasibility and acceptability of telehealth-delivered cognitive behaviour therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) in people with early BC receiving (neo)adjuvant chemotherapy.

Methods: Multi-centre, single arm, phase 2 feasibility trial. People with stage I-III BC received 4 sessions of telehealth CBT-I over 8 weeks, during chemotherapy. Participants completed Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and other Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) at baseline, post-program (week 9) and post-chemotherapy (week 24); and an Acceptability Questionnaire at week 9. Primary endpoint was proportion completing 4 sessions of telehealth CBT-I.

Results: In total, 41 participants were recruited: mean age 51 years (range 31-73). All 4 CBT-I sessions were completed by 35 (85%) participants. Acceptability of the program was high and 71% reported 'the program was useful'. There was no significant difference in the number of poor sleepers (PSQI score ≥ 5) at baseline 29/40 (73%) and week 24 17/25 (68%); or in the mean PSQI score at baseline (7.43, SD 4.06) and week 24 (7.48, SD 4.41). From baseline to week 24, 7/25 (28%) participants had a ≥ 3 point improvement in sleep quality on PSQI, and 5/25 (20%) had a ≥ 3 point deterioration. There was no significant difference in mean PROM scores.

Conclusion: It is feasible to deliver telehealth CBT-I to people with early BC receiving chemotherapy. Contrary to literature predictions, sleep quality did not deteriorate. Telehealth CBT-I has a potential role in preventing and managing sleep disturbance during chemotherapy. Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR) registration number: ACTRN12620001379909 and date 22/12/2020.

Original languageEnglish
Article number375
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Volume32
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2024

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2024. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • Breast cancer
  • Chemotherapy
  • Insomnia
  • Quality of life
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Telehealth

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