Behavioral Sleep Medicine for Hypersomnia: A Proof of Concept Study
2017 Strategic Research Grant
JASON ONG, PHD
NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
Key Project Outcome
Observational studies have consistently found that people with narcolepsy and idiopathic hypersomnia experience poor health-related quality of life, particularly with depression. It is currently unknown if an adjunctive therapy using cognitive and behavioral strategies can effectively reduce depressive symptoms and improve health-related quality of life.
The findings from this study provide preliminary support for using a novel cognitive-behavior therapy for hypersomnia (CBT-H) as an adjunctive therapy aimed at improving psychosocial skills to manage the symptoms of hypersomnia. Specifically, CBT-H was found to reduce depressive symptoms and improve self-efficacy, which refers to the ability to achieve a desired goal, even when the situation is unpredictable or stressful. In addition, there were indications that CBT-H is capable of reducing excessive daytime sleepiness, which is the primary symptom of both narcolepsy and idiopathic hypersomnia. Finally, the findings support the use of a telehealth model for delivery and assessment, which is scalable and can enhance participant accessibility and engagement. These findings lay the groundwork for future studies to conduct rigorous testing of CBT-H with an eye towards a comprehensive care model using an adjunctive behavioral treatment with standard medical care for people with narcolepsy and idiopathic hypersomnia.