A Feasibility Study of Group-Delivered Behavioral Interventions for Insomnia among Breast Cancer Survivors: Comparing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia and a Mind-Body Intervention

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine








breast cancer; cognitive behavioral therapy; insomnia; mindfulness; survivorship


© Copyright 2019, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers 2019. Objectives: An estimated 30%-50% of breast cancer survivors (BCSs) report persistent insomnia, which may affect daytime functioning and quality of life, and lead to longer term health complications. Although the gold standard insomnia intervention, cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I), has demonstrated efficacy, accessibility is limited due to a scarcity of trained providers, and adherence to therapy is variable. Group-delivered alternative therapies may offer an opportunity to reach and treat BCSs with insomnia. This pilot study was designed to assess feasibility of a group-delivered mind-body intervention compared with group-delivered CBT-I among BCSs. Design: The authors recruited n = 25 stages I-IV BCSs to a 9-week trial of group therapy for insomnia. Eligible women were assigned to the next upcoming group until it was full. Primary outcomes were to assess intervention feasibility measured by (1) qualitative focus group feedback and (2) attendance. The feasibility of using the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) was also assessed in this population and ISI change scores were gathered to allow for power calculations in a future trial. Means and frequencies were used to describe participant demographics and attendance. Results: The authors found higher attendance (86% vs. 67% of sessions) and greater satisfaction with the intervention (84.6% vs. 57.1%) reported among mind-body participants than among CBT-I participants. Qualitative feedback suggested more group cohesion among the mind-body group and lower incentive to attend in-person among the CBT-I group. Conclusions: The results suggest that delivering a mind-body intervention for BCSs is feasible and acceptable, based on attendance and qualitative feedback.