Internet-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia in Appalachian Women: A Pilot Study

Mairead E. Moloney, Ashley I. Martinez, Christal L. Badour, Daniela C. Moga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective/Background: Appalachian women are disproportionately affected by insufficient sleep but live in a healthcare shortage area with prevalent prescription drug abuse. A self-administered, non-pharmacologic intervention such as Internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) may be ideal in this population, but psycho-social characteristics (e.g., high depression rates) and cultural norms (e.g., suspicion of technology) necessitate a pilot study. We evaluated the effectiveness of Sleep Healthy Using the Internet (SHUTi) on insomnia severity, sleep quality, perceived stress, depression symptoms, and sleep aid use in Appalachian women ages 45 +. Participants: Forty-six women enrolled; 38 completed the six-week intervention in 2018 (mean age 55 years). Methods: We employed a single group, pre/post-test, mixed-methods design. Participants completed an online survey and a qualitative interview pre- and post-intervention. Quantitative data were analyzed using one-way repeated measures ANOVA or generalized estimating equations. Interviews were qualitatively analyzed using a multi-stage coding process. Results: Positive and statistically significant (p < .01) improvements were observed on mean scores for the Insomnia Severity Index (15.1 to 6.5), the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (12.1 to 8.5), the Perceived Stress Scale (20 to 14.6), and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale Revised (9.8 to 5.2). The odds of reporting sleep medication use post-intervention were significantly lower than pre-intervention (OR 0.28 [95% CI 0.11–0.74]). Interviews highlighted most and least helpful intervention components and suggested that participants benefitted from SHUTi. Conclusions: Internet-based CBT-I may be a useful, non-pharmacologic treatment that reduces insomnia severity, perceived stress, depression symptoms, and sleep aid use in middle-aged Appalachian women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)680-689
Number of pages10
JournalBehavioral Sleep Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, © 2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Neurology


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