Pilot Study

Page last updated: Friday 04 June 2010


The prevalence rates of chronic insomnia range from 9-15% (Ancoli-Israel and Roth, 1999), with higher rates recorded for older adults, women, shift workers, and patients with medical or psychiatric disorders (Roth and Roehrs, 2003).

Between 35-44% of all patients presenting to sleep disorder specialists with a complaint of insomnia also suffer from comorbid psyciatric disorders, most commonly anxiety and depressive disorders (Buysse et al, 1994).

Annual costs of insomnia for Australia are estimated to $7494 million (Hillman, Murphy, and Pessullo, 2006), including:

Accordingly, it is important to provide a cost effective treatment for the high proportion of clients who will experience insomnia. The four main aims of this study were:

  1. to sumamrise outcomes for clients with insomnia participating in treatment at Adelaide Insomnia Clinic;
  2. to evaluate pre and post treament use of sleeping medication;
  3. to summarise pre and post treatment data regarding mental health;
  4. and to determine why some patients fail to complete treatment.


Participants were 64 clients referred to Adelaide Insomnia clinic whose files were closed between January and May 2010. Of this group, 23.4% (n=15) were referred for general psychological issues (i.e. depression and anxiety) and 76.6% (n=49) were referred for sleep disorders.

Of the clients referred for sleep disorders, 7 participants were excluded from analyses as they were diagnosed with circadian rhythm disorders (e.g. delayed and advanced sleep phase syndrome) and were advised on a different treatment (e.g. bright light therapy). There were 10 participants with insomnia who did not complete their treatment.

Hence, the analyses were conducted on 32 participants who were diagnosed with psychophysiological insomnia and completed the Adelaide Insomnia Clinic treatment plan.


Participants were asked to complete the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21) pre and post treatment, which is a self report questionnaire designed to measure the severity of a range of symptoms common to both depression and anxiety. The essential function of the DASS-21 is to assess the severity of the core symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress.

Participants in the sleep disorders group also complete sleep wake diaries pre, during, and post treatment. Sleep wake diaries provide information including:


Please click the link to the May 2010 newsletter PDF file.

More detailed results will be published shortly. If you have any specific questions regarding this study please email Adrian.

Est: 2004  |  Phone: 0402 826 968  |  Fax: 8357 7337  |  Address: 296 Goodwood Road, Clarence Park, SA 5034