Self-efficacy in Insomnia Symptom Management after Digital CBT-I Mediates Insomnia Severity during the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Behavioral sleep medicine


STUDY OBJECTIVES: Digital cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (dCBT-I) can reduce acute insomnia and depressive symptoms and prevent symptom recurrence. The current study evaluated self-efficacy in managing insomnia symptoms as a potential mediator of the relationship between prior dCBT-I and subsequent insomnia and depressive symptoms assessed during the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

METHOD: Participants were 208 adults who completed a randomized controlled trial of dCBT-I versus sleep education in 2016-2017 and also completed self-report assessments of insomnia, depression, and self-efficacy in managing insomnia symptoms. Data were collected in May 2020, five weeks into state-wide COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. Regression and mediation analyses were used to evaluate the extent to which self-efficacy accounted for the relationship between treatment condition and improvement in insomnia and depressive symptoms from pre-treatment to COVID-19 follow-up.

RESULTS: Prior dCBT-I predicted greater self-efficacy in managing insomnia symptoms. Self-efficacy accounted for 49% and 67% of the protective effect of dCBT-I against COVID-era insomnia and depressive symptoms, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: This study affirms the importance of self-efficacy as a key intervention outcome and potential mechanism by which dCBT-I predicts future sleep and mental health. Future studies that evaluate the role of self-efficacy in treatment effectiveness and resilience can provide additional clues about how to optimize dCBT-I for maximum benefit to public health.

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ePub ahead of print

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