Veterans Affairs Primary Care Provider Perceptions of Insomnia Treatment.

Abstract

Study objectives

Insomnia is a widespread issue among United States adults and rates of insomnia among veterans are even higher than the general population. Prior research examining primary care provider (PCP) perspectives on insomnia treatment found that: sleep hygiene and pharmacotherapy are the primary treatments offered; PCPs tend to focus on perceived causes of insomnia rather than the insomnia itself; and neither patients nor providers are satisfied with insomnia treatment options. Although insomnia complaints are typically first reported to primary care providers, little research has focused on perspectives regarding insomnia treatment among PCPs working in the largest integrated health care system in the United States-the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system. This study was conducted to examine VA PCP perceptions of the availability of insomnia treatments, identify specific strategies offered by PCPs, and examine perceptions regarding the importance of treating insomnia and the role of comorbid conditions.

Methods

A survey was conducted within the VA health care system. Primary care providers completed surveys electronically.

Results

A high percentage of veterans (modal response = 20% to 39%) seen in VA primary care settings report an insomnia complaint to their provider. Almost half of respondents do not consistently document insomnia in the medical record (46% endorsed "sometimes," "rarely," or "never"). PCPs routinely advise sleep hygiene recommendations for insomnia (ie, avoid stimulants before bedtime [84.3%], and keep the bedroom environment quiet and dark and comfortable [68.6%]) and many are uncertain if cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia is available at their facility (43.1%).

Conclusions

Findings point to the need for systems-level changes within health care systems, including the adoption of evidence-based clinical practice standards for insomnia and PCP education about the processes that maintain insomnia.

Commentary

A commentary on this article appears in this issue on page 937.

Department

Description

Provenance

Citation

Published Version (Please cite this version)

10.5664/jcsm.6702

Publication Info

Ulmer, Christi S, Hayden B Bosworth, Jean C Beckham, Anne Germain, Amy S Jeffreys, David Edelman, Stephanie Macy, Angela Kirby, et al. (2017). Veterans Affairs Primary Care Provider Perceptions of Insomnia Treatment. Journal of clinical sleep medicine : JCSM : official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 13(8). pp. 991–999. 10.5664/jcsm.6702 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/29905.

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.

Scholars@Duke

Ulmer

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.     

Bosworth

Hayden Barry Bosworth

Professor in Population Health Sciences

Dr. Bosworth is a health services researcher and Deputy Director of the Center of Innovation to Accelerate Discovery and Practice Transformation (ADAPT)  at the Durham VA Medical Center. He is also Vice Chair of Education and Professor of Population Health Sciences. He is also a Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry, and Nursing at Duke University Medical Center and Adjunct Professor in Health Policy and Administration at the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research interests comprise three overarching areas of research: 1) clinical research that provides knowledge for improving patients’ treatment adherence and self-management in chronic care; 2) translation research to improve access to quality of care; and 3) eliminate health care disparities. 

Dr. Bosworth is the recipient of an American Heart Association established investigator award, the 2013 VA Undersecretary Award for Outstanding Achievement in Health Services Research (The annual award is the highest honor for VA health services researchers), and a VA Senior Career Scientist Award. In terms of self-management, Dr. Bosworth has expertise developing interventions to improve health behaviors related to hypertension, coronary artery disease, and depression, and has been developing and implementing tailored patient interventions to reduce the burden of other chronic diseases. These trials focus on motivating individuals to initiate health behaviors and sustaining them long term and use members of the healthcare team, particularly pharmacists and nurses. He has been the Principal Investigator of over 30 trials resulting in over 400 peer reviewed publications and four books. This work has been or is being implemented in multiple arenas including Medicaid of North Carolina, private payers, The United Kingdom National Health System Direct, Kaiser Health care system, and the Veterans Affairs.

Areas of Expertise: Health Behavior, Health Services Research, Implementation Science, Health Measurement, and Health Policy


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