Treatment of comorbid sleep disorders and posttraumatic stress disorder in active duty military: Design and methodology of a randomized clinical trial.

Taylor, D. J., Pruiksma, K. E., Mintz, J., Slavish, D. C., Wardle-Pinkston, S., Tyler, H., Dondanville, K. A., Young-McCaughan, S., Scullin, M. K., Nicholson, K. L., Litz, B. T., Dietch, J. R., Williamson, D. E., Keane, T. M., Peterson, A. L., & Resick, P. A., for the Consortium to Alleviate PTSD.
Dec 1, 2020

Contemporary Clinical Trials, 99, Article 106186.

Many individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) also suffer from insomnia and nightmares, which may be symptoms of PTSD or constitute partially independent comorbid disorders. Sleep disturbances are resistant to current treatments for PTSD, and those suffering from PTSD, insomnia, and nightmares have worse PTSD treatment outcomes. In addition, insomnia and nightmares are risk factors for depression, substance abuse, anxiety, and suicide. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia and Nightmares (CBT-I&N) and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) for PTSD are first line treatments of these conditions. CPT does not typically address insomnia or nightmares, and CBT-I&N does not typically address other symptoms of PTSD. There are limited scientific data on how best to provide these therapies to individuals suffering with all three disorders. This project aims to inform the most effective way to treat individuals suffering from PTSD, insomnia, and nightmares, potentially changing the standard of care. U.S. military personnel and recently discharged Veterans who served in support of combat operations following 9/11 aged 18–65 with PTSD, insomnia, and nightmares (N = 222) will be randomly assigned to one of the following 18-session individual treatment conditions delivered over 12-weeks: (1) 6 sessions of CBT-I&N followed by 12 sessions of CPT; (2) 12 sessions of CPT followed by 6 sessions of CBT-I&N; or (3) 12 sessions of CPT followed by an additional 6 sessions of CPT. All participants will be assessed at baseline, during treatment, and at 1-week, 1-month, 3-months, and 6-months posttreatment. The primary outcome will be PTSD symptom severity.