Cognitive Processing Therapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Is Associated with Negligible Change in Subjective and Objective Sleep

Patricia L. Haynes, Iva Skobic, Dana R. Epstein, Sarah Emert, Sairam Parthasarathy, Suzanne Perkins, James Wilcox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Patients receiving Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), an evidence based therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), report improved sleep quality. However, the majority of studies have examined residual sleep disturbance via self-report surveys or separate items on PTSD measures. This study examined whether CPT delivered to veterans in a VA setting improved sleep indices using state-of-the-art objective and subjective insomnia measures. Participants: Participants were war veterans with a current PTSD diagnosis scheduled to begin outpatient individual or group CPT at two Veteran’s Affairs (VA) locations (n = 37). Methods: Sleep symptom severity was assessed using the recommended research consensus insomnia assessment, the consensus daily sleep diary and actigraphy. PTSD symptomatology pre- and post-treatment were assessed using the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale. Results: A small to moderate benefit was observed for the change in PTSD symptoms across treatment (ESRMC = .43). Effect sizes for changes on daily sleep diary and actigraphy variables after CPT were found to be negligible (Range ESRMC = − .16 to.17). Sleep indices remained at symptomatic clinical levels post-treatment. Discussion: These findings support previous research demonstrating a need for independent clinical attention to address insomnia either before, during, or after PTSD treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalBehavioral Sleep Medicine
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Neurology

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