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eHealth-Based Psychosocial Interventions for Adults With Insomnia: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

HumanInsight eHealth-Based Psychosocial Interventions for Adults With Insomnia: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

J Med Internet Res. 2023 Mar 14;25:e39250. doi: 10.2196/39250.


BACKGROUND: Worldwide, insomnia remains a highly prevalent public health problem. eHealth presents a novel opportunity to deliver effective, accessible, and affordable insomnia treatments on a population-wide scale. However, there is no quantitative integration of evidence regarding the effectiveness of eHealth-based psychosocial interventions on insomnia.

OBJECTIVE: We aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of eHealth-based psychosocial interventions for insomnia and investigate the influence of specific study characteristics and intervention features on these effects.

METHODS: We searched PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, PsycINFO, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials from database inception to February 16, 2021, for publications investigating eHealth-based psychosocial interventions targeting insomnia and updated the search of PubMed to December 6, 2021. We also screened gray literature for unpublished data. Eligible studies were randomized controlled trials of eHealth-based psychosocial interventions targeting adults with insomnia. Random-effects meta-analysis models were used to assess primary and secondary outcomes. Primary outcomes were insomnia severity and sleep quality. Meta-analyses were performed by pooling the effects of eHealth-based psychosocial interventions on insomnia compared with inactive and in-person conditions. We performed subgroup analyses and metaregressions to explore specific factors that affected the effectiveness. Secondary outcomes included sleep diary parameters and mental health-related outcomes.

RESULTS: Of the 19,980 identified records, 37 randomized controlled trials (13,227 participants) were included. eHealth-based psychosocial interventions significantly reduced insomnia severity (Hedges g=-1.01, 95% CI -1.12 to -0.89; P<.001) and improved sleep quality (Hedges g=-0.58, 95% CI -0.75 to -0.41; P<.001) compared with inactive control conditions, with no evidence of publication bias. We found no significant difference compared with in-person treatment in alleviating insomnia severity (Hedges g=0.41, 95% CI -0.02 to 0.85; P=.06) and a significant advantage for in-person treatment in enhancing sleep quality (Hedges g=0.56, 95% CI 0.24-0.88; P<.001). eHealth-based psychosocial interventions had significantly larger effects (P=.01) on alleviating insomnia severity in clinical samples than in subclinical samples. eHealth-based psychosocial interventions that incorporated guidance from trained therapists had a significantly greater effect on insomnia severity (P=.05) and sleep quality (P=.02) than those with guidance from animated therapists or no guidance. Higher baseline insomnia severity and longer intervention duration were associated with a larger reduction in insomnia severity (P=.004). eHealth-based psychosocial interventions significantly improved each secondary outcome.

CONCLUSIONS: eHealth interventions for insomnia are effective in improving sleep and mental health and can be considered a promising treatment for insomnia. Our findings support the wider dissemination of eHealth interventions and their further promotion in a stepped-care model. Offering blended care could improve treatment effectiveness. Future research needs to elucidate which specific intervention components are most important to achieve intervention effectiveness. Blended eHealth interventions may be tailored to benefit people with low socioeconomic status, limited access to health care, or lack of eHealth literacy.

PMID:36917145 | DOI:10.2196/39250

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