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Fibromyalgia Patients May Benefit from Insomnia Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy a promising intervention for sleep disturbance in such patients

MONDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Insomnia is a common problem in fibromyalgia patients and a new study suggests that a course of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may improve insomnia and other symptoms, according to a report published in the Nov. 28 Archives of Internal Medicine.

Jack Edinger, Ph.D., and colleagues at the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., conducted a randomized clinical trial comparing CBT, sleep hygiene instructions (which included advice on increasing exercise and other sleep-promoting measures), and usual care in 42 fibromyalgia patients. Patients were evaluated with screening polysomnography, actigraphy, and measures of wake and sleep durations, as well as sleep logs and visual-analog self-reports.

The CBT group achieved a 50% reduction in nocturnal wakening, according to sleep logs, compared with 20% in the sleep hygiene group and 3.5% for usual care. Fifty-seven percent of the CBT group met criteria for subjective sleep improvement compared with 17% of the sleep hygiene group and 0% of the usual care group.

CBT is "a promising intervention for sleep disturbance in fibromyalgia patients," the authors conclude. CBT trials at multiple centers utilizing a larger number of therapists and fibromyalgia subjects is warranted.

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