Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title



BACKGROUND: Prevention of major depressive disorder (MDD) is a public health priority. Strategies targeting individuals at elevated risk for MDD may guide effective preventive care. Insomnia is a reliable precursor to depression, preceding half of all incident and relapse cases. Thus, insomnia may serve as a useful entry point for preventing MDD. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) is recommended as the first-line treatment for insomnia, but widespread implementation is limited by a shortage of trained specialists. Innovative stepped-care approaches rooted in primary care can increase access to CBT-I and reduce rates of MDD.

METHODS/DESIGN: We propose a large-scale stepped-care clinical trial in the primary care setting that utilizes a sequential, multiple assignment, randomized trial (SMART) design to determine the effectiveness of dCBT-I alone and in combination with clinician-led CBT-I for insomnia and the prevention of MDD incidence and relapse. Specifically, our care model uses digital CBT-I (dCBT-I) as a first-line intervention to increase care access and reduce the need for specialist resources. Our proposal also adds clinician-led CBT-I for patients who do not remit with first-line intervention and need a more personalized approach from specialty care. We will evaluate negative repetitive thinking as a potential treatment mechanism by which dCBT-I and CBT-I benefit insomnia and depression outcomes.

DISCUSSION: This project will test a highly scalable model of sleep care in a large primary care system to determine the potential for wide dissemination and implementation to address the high volume of population need for safe and effective insomnia treatment and associated prevention of depression.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT03322774. Registered on October 26, 2017.

Medical Subject Headings

Humans; Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders; Depressive Disorder, Major; Depression; Cognitive Behavioral Therapy; Sleep; Public Health; Recurrence; Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic

PubMed ID






First Page


Last Page




To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.