Knowledge and clinical practice of therapists treating comorbid anxiety and insomnia



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The purpose of this study was to explore the extent to which therapists who treat anxiety also treat comorbid insomnia. A survey was created to test therapists’ knowledge about insomnia and their expertise related to effective treatment methods. Results indicate that the majority of therapists in this study have not kept up with research that shows that anxiety and insomnia are bidirectionally causative, interactive, and exacerbating. They have not altered the way they treat clients to ensure that, when treating anxiety, issues related to insomnia are identified and specifically addressed. Additionally, they have failed to learn best practices for treating insomnia. Of the therapists in this study, 59% reported that they do not treat insomnia when it is comorbid with anxiety, and 82% do not use the most efficacious treatment for insomnia, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I), when their clients are experiencing it. A subgroup of therapists who treat insomnia with CBT-I showed superior performance on every measure of the test and on self-reported treatment outcomes. Further exploration of the results, recommendations for future research, and practical implications are discussed.



Insomnia, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia