Brief Behavioral Counseling May Help Seniors
MONDAY, Jan. 24 (HealthDay News) -- A brief, individualized
counseling program can improve sleep in older adults with insomnia,
a new study shows.
The research involved 79 insomnia patients, with an average age
of about 72, who were divided into two groups. The 39 patients in
the treatment group received four sessions of individualized
behavioral counseling from a nurse clinician. Two sessions were
conducted in person and two by phone.
The 40 patients in the control group received only general
printed educational material about insomnia and sleep habits.
After four weeks, more patients in the behavioral treatment
group than the control group showed a favorable response (67
percent versus 25 percent) or no longer had insomnia (55 percent
versus 13 percent).
The results suggest that for every 2.4 patients treated with the
counseling program, one would respond favorably and one would no
longer have insomnia, said Dr. Daniel J. Buysse, of the University
of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and colleagues.
The study is published online Jan. 24 and in the May 23 print
issue of the journal
Archives of Internal Medicine.
Up to 35 percent of older U.S. adults have insomnia, according
to background information in the article. Because of trouble
falling asleep or staying asleep, they may complain of daytime
fatigue, difficulty concentrating and mood disturbances.
"Although brief behavioral treatment for insomnia shares many features with other behavioral insomnia treatments, some particular features make it an especially attractive option," the researchers wrote in a journal news release.
They said the strong focus on behavior may reduce patient
concerns about "psychological" treatments. Also, the program can be
taught to nurses in a short period of time, the authors said.
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more
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