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IMPORTANCE: Chronic insomnia disorder is highly prevalent, disabling, and costly. Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I), comprising various educational, cognitive, and behavioral strategies delivered in various formats, is the recommended first-line treatment, but the effect of each component and delivery method remains unclear. OBJECTIVE: To examine the association of each component and delivery format of CBT-I with outcomes. DATA SOURCES: PubMed, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, PsycInfo, and International Clinical Trials Registry Platform from database inception to July 21, 2023. STUDY SELECTION: Published randomized clinical trials comparing any form of CBT-I against another or a control condition for chronic insomnia disorder in adults aged 18 years and older. Insomnia both with and without comorbidities was included. Concomitant treatments were allowed if equally distributed among arms. DATA EXTRACTION AND SYNTHESIS: Two independent reviewers identified components, extracted data, and assessed trial quality. Random-effects component network meta-analyses were performed. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The primary outcome was treatment efficacy (remission defined as reaching a satisfactory state) posttreatment. Secondary outcomes included all-cause dropout, self-reported sleep continuity, and long-term remission. RESULTS: A total of 241 trials were identified including 31 452 participants (mean [SD] age, 45.4 [16.6] years; 21 048 of 31 452 [67%] women). Results suggested that critical components of CBT-I are cognitive restructuring (remission incremental odds ratio [iOR], 1.68; 95% CI, 1.28-2.20) third-wave components (iOR, 1.49; 95% CI, 1.10-2.03), sleep restriction (iOR, 1.49; 95% CI, 1.04-2.13), and stimulus control (iOR, 1.43; 95% CI, 1.00-2.05). Sleep hygiene education was not essential (iOR, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.77-1.32), and relaxation procedures were found to be potentially counterproductive(iOR, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.64-1.02). In-person therapist-led programs were most beneficial (iOR, 1.83; 95% CI, 1.19-2.81). Cognitive restructuring, third-wave components, and in-person delivery were mainly associated with improved subjective sleep quality. Sleep restriction was associated with improved subjective sleep quality, sleep efficiency, and wake after sleep onset, and stimulus control with improved subjective sleep quality, sleep efficiency, and sleep latency. The most efficacious combination-consisting of cognitive restructuring, third wave, sleep restriction, and stimulus control in the in-person format-compared with in-person psychoeducation, was associated with an increase in the remission rate by a risk difference of 0.33 (95% CI, 0.23-0.43) and a number needed to treat of 3.0 (95% CI, 2.3-4.3), given the median observed control event rate of 0.14. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: The findings suggest that beneficial CBT-I packages may include cognitive restructuring, third-wave components, sleep restriction, stimulus control, and in-person delivery but not relaxation. However, potential undetected interactions could undermine the conclusions. Further large-scale, well-designed trials are warranted to confirm the contribution of different treatment components in CBT-I.

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Journal article


JAMA Psychiatry

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