Provider-supported self-management cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (Tele-Self CBTi): Protocol for a randomized controlled trial.



Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBTi) is recommended as first-line treatment for insomnia, yet patient access to CBTi is limited. Self-help CBTi could increase patient access. Self-help CBTI with provider sup]port is more effective and is preferred by patients. Self-help CBTi has not been evaluated in veterans; a population with greater medical and mental health morbidity and more severe sleep difficulties than non-veterans. Moreover, those with mental health conditions have been largely excluded from prior CBTi self-help trials. Stablishing the efficacy of provider-supported Self-help CBTi is an important first step for expanding veteran access to CBTi.


In a 2-armed randomized controlled trial, a provider-supported self-help CBTi (Tele-Self CBTi) is compared to Health Education for improving insomnia severity (primary outcome) among treatment-seeking veterans with insomnia disorder. Tele-Self CBTi is comprised of two treatment components: self-help CBTi via a professionally designed manual developed using an iterative process of expert review and patient input; and 6 telephone-based support sessions lasting >20 min. Outcomes are assessed at baseline, 8 weeks, and 6 months after baseline. The primary outcome, insomnia severity, is measured using the Insomnia Severity Index. Secondary outcomes include self-reported and actigraphy-assessed sleep, fatigue, depression symptoms, and sleep-related quality of life.


Innovative approaches are essential to improving overall health among veterans; a population with highly prevalent insomnia disorder. If effective, Tele-Self CBTi may bridge the gap between unavailable resources and high demand for CBTi and serve as the entry level intervention in a stepped model of care.

Clinical trials

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Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Ulmer, Christi S, Hayden B Bosworth, Jennifer Zervakis, Kaitlyn Goodwin, Pamela Gentry, Cynthia Rose, Amy S Jeffreys, Maren K Olsen, et al. (2023). Provider-supported self-management cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (Tele-Self CBTi): Protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Contemporary clinical trials, 125. p. 107060. 10.1016/j.cct.2022.107060 Retrieved from

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Christi S Ulmer

Associate Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

I am an Associate Professor at Duke University School of Medicine and clinical research psychologist at the Durham VA Center of Innovation to Accelerate Discovery and Practice Transformation (ADAPT). My research is focused on increasing our understanding of the health correlates of sleep disorders, increasing patient access to behavioral sleep medicine, and developing and disseminating behaviorally-based treatments for sleep disorders. I am a Behavioral Sleep Medicine Diplomate who has been treating patients with sleep disturbances for the past 17 years. I serve as faculty on the Durham VA Health Psychology fellowship training program; the first accredited BSM training program in the VA healthcare system. I served as a VA Co-Chair for the development of VA/DOD Clinical Practice Guidelines for insomnia and sleep apnea, and served as a consultant on the VA Dissemination of training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia for more than 8 years. I am committed to expanding patient access to and provider knowledge of effective behavioral sleep medicine interventions, and increasing the recognition of sleep’s role in patient health.     


Maren Karine Olsen

Professor of Biostatistics & Bioinformatics

Health services research, longitudinal data methods, missing data methods


Jean Crowell Beckham

Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Interest in assessment and treatment of trauma, particularly as occurs for both women and men during military service; focus in treatment outcome of differential and collective contribution for psychopharmacological and behavioral interventions in PTSD populations; long term physical health effects of chronic posttraumatic stress disorder.

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