Mid-Treatment Sleep Duration Predicts Clinically Significant Knee Osteoarthritis Pain reduction at 6 months: Effects From a Behavioral Sleep Medicine Clinical Trial

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Study Objectives:

To determine the relative influence of sleep continuity (sleep efficiency, sleep onset latency, total sleep time [TST], and wake after sleep onset) on clinical pain outcomes within a trial of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) for patients with comorbid knee osteoarthritis and insomnia.


Secondary analyses were performed on data from 74 patients with comorbid insomnia and knee osteoarthritis who completed a randomized clinical trial of 8-session multicomponent CBT-I versus an active behavioral desensitization control condition (BD), including a 6-month follow-up assessment. Data used herein include daily diaries of sleep parameters, actigraphy data, and self-report questionnaires administered at specific time points.


Patients who reported at least 30% improvement in self-reported pain from baseline to 6-month follow-up were considered responders (N = 31). Pain responders and nonresponders did not differ significantly at baseline across any sleep continuity measures. At mid-treatment, only TST predicted pain response via t tests and logistic regression, whereas other measures of sleep continuity were nonsignificant. Recursive partitioning analyses identified a minimum cut-point of 382 min of TST achieved at mid-treatment in order to best predict pain improvements 6-month posttreatment. Actigraphy results followed the same pattern as daily diary-based results.


Clinically significant pain reductions in response to both CBT-I and BD were optimally predicted by achieving approximately 6.5 hr sleep duration by mid-treatment. Thus, tailoring interventions to increase TST early in treatment may be an effective strategy to promote long-term pain reductions. More comprehensive research on components of behavioral sleep medicine treatments that contribute to pain response is warranted.

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