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Who to Refer to a Behavioral Insomnia Clinic? — Recommendations Based on Treatment Rationale and Response Prediction


Purpose of review

Response to cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) is variable across individuals, and specialty insomnia clinics that provide CBT-I are few. To personalize insomnia treatments and maximize the cost-effectiveness of CBT-I, this paper reviews the conceptual model and content of CBT-I and the predictors of adherence/response to CBT-I as the basis for understanding who is most likely to benefit from CBT-I.

Recent findings

Specific patient-related attributes that predict benefit from CBT-I include (1) presence of maladaptive behaviors that serve as perpetuating factors of insomnia; (2) greater motivation to pursue therapy and higher treatment expectancies regarding CBT-I; (3) reduced use of hypnotics; (4) longer sleep duration; and (5) adequately treated psychiatric comorbidities.


People presenting with chronic insomnia and these attributes may warrant prioritization in referral to behavioral insomnia clinics. Conversely, those who do not have such favorable characteristics may require interventions that address modifiable factors associated with poor adherence/response to CBT-I.

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