Pilot feasibility and acceptability study evaluating use of group CBT-I in improving sleep and fatigue in older adults

Aisling Smyth, Shehnas Alam, Sabine Pangerl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: This paper describes a pilot study, in a small sample of older adults, designed to ascertain the feasibility, acceptability and potential effectiveness of group Cognitive Behavioural Therapy For Insomnia (CBT-I).

METHODS: Eleven older adults participated in a 3-week group CBT-I intervention with pre- and post-intervention outcome measures of sleep and fatigue. Acceptability was measured via post-intervention focus groups. Feasibility was measured via recruitment, retention and completion data. Subjective sleep outcomes were measured pre- and post-intervention using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Fatigue was measured using the Fatigue Severity Index. Objective sleep outcome measures were obtained via pre- and post-intervention wrist actigraphy.

RESULTS: Feasibility and acceptability were confirmed in the pilot study. Retention and completion levels were high, with participants largely positive in the focus group feedback. Preliminary sleep outcome data supported the potential effectiveness of the intervention in significantly improving several measures of sleep and fatigue including a three-point reduction in the Global PSQI scores, an increase in total sleep time of almost an hour per night and these results were mirrored by a significant reduction of nine points in the overall measure of fatigue severity.

CONCLUSIONS: A group CBT-I intervention is a low-cost, low-risk intervention which improves subjective and objective measures of sleep in older adults. These positive sleep outcomes are translated into significantly decreased levels of fatigue. Future research should focus on a larger sample size with a randomised controlled trial design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalAustralasian Journal on Ageing
Early online date29 Aug 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Aug 2023


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