Cancer-Related Insomnia: New Research Finds Effective Treatments

This study was a first of its kind. It involved a head-to-head comparison of acupuncture and cognitive behavioral therapy, enrolled patients with many different types of cancer and included nearly 30% minority participants. Previous studies focused solely on breast cancer and included 90% white participants. Limitations of the previous research make it difficult to determine if the results are applicable to patients with other cancers and people of diverse backgrounds. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Acupuncture Are Effective Acupuncture and cognitive behavioral therapy treatments produced clinically meaningful reductions in insomnia severity and symptom management. Key Findings of the Trial Include: The beneficial effects of the therapies persisted for the full three-month, post-treatment period. Over the full 20 weeks of follow up, cognitive behavior therapy was slightly more effective overall than acupuncture for improving insomnia. Both therapies yielded similar improvements in fatigue, mood, quality of life and reduced sleep medication use. Cognitive behavioral therapy was more effective in white, highly educated men. Women and participants with less formal education appeared to benefit equally from acupuncture and cognitive behavioral therapy. Acupuncture was more effective for pain management in the short term. Options May Depend on Unique Patient Needs While both interventions proved effective for lessening severity and symptoms of insomnia...
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