Digital cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia in women with chronic migraines

Megan R. Crawford, Annemarie I. Luik, Colin A. Espie, Hannah L. Taylor, Helen J. Burgess, Alex L. Jones, Jason C. Ong

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Abstract

Objective/Background: Insomnia commonly co-occurs with chronic migraines (CM). Non-pharmacological treatments for insomnia in CM patients remain understudied. This is a proof-of-concept study, which aims to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of a digital cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (dCBT-I) for individuals with CM and insomnia (CM-I) in the United States. Methods: We recruited 42 females with CM-I symptoms from a U.S.-based observational cohort and from the general population via advertisements. Within a multiple baseline design, participants were randomized to receive dCBT-I after 2, 4, or 6 weeks of completing baseline sleep diaries. DCBT-I was scrutinized against benchmarks for completion rates (≥90% to complete dCBT-I), acceptability (≥80% to find dCBT-I acceptable), and posttreatment changes in insomnia symptoms (≥50% indicating a clinically relevant improvement in their insomnia symptoms). As a secondary measure, we also reported percentage of individuals reverting to episodic migraines. Results: Out of 42 randomized, 35 (83.3%) completed dCBT-I within the 12 weeks provided. Of these completers, 33 (94.3%) reported being satisfied (n = 16) or very satisfied (n = 17) with treatment. Additionally, 65.7% of completers responded to treatment as per universally accepted criteria for insomnia. Lastly, 34% of completers reverted from CM to episodic migraine. Conclusion: This study provides evidence for the feasibility and acceptability of dCBT-I in patients with CM-I complaints. Effects of improving insomnia and migraines were suggested. These results indicate that a randomized controlled trial is needed to determine the efficacy of dCBT-I in CM patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)902-915
Number of pages14
JournalHeadache
Volume60
Issue number5
Early online date28 Feb 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Feb 2020

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Keywords

  • insomnia
  • cognitive behavioural therapy
  • chronic migraines

Cite this

Crawford, M. R., Luik, A. I., Espie, C. A., Taylor, H. L., Burgess, H. J., Jones, A. L., & Ong, J. C. (2020). Digital cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia in women with chronic migraines. Headache, 60(5), 902-915. https://doi.org/10.1111/head.13777