Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

AIM: This paper systematically reviews clinical trials investigating the effectiveness of cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia and pain in patients with chronic non-malignant pain. METHOD: A systematic search of MEDLINE, PSYCINFO, EMBASE, CINHAL and Cochrane library and register of trials was conducted. RESULTS: Essential components of cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia were included in all studies except for the cognitive restructuring component, which was not considered an intervention in one study. Interventions were provided by adequately trained clinicians. Significant within-group effect sizes (> 1) were observed in the intervention groups as compared with the control groups. Improvements were noted in sleep latency, sleep efficiency and wake after sleep onset times. Although improvements were noted in pain experienced by the participants, this was not a significant finding. CONCLUSIONS: These clinical trials demonstrate that cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia is effective as an intervention for insomnia in individuals suffering from chronic non-malignant pain. Although pain and disturbed sleep are linked, cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia alone may not be an effective solution for addressing chronic non-malignant pain. Trials of cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia on a variety of chronic pain patients with disturbed sleep and with long-term follow-up are required to ascertain whether cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia is an effective intervention to reduce pain and to add to increasing evidence that it is an effective intervention for insomnia in the chronic pain population.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Pain

Publication Date





138 - 151


Chronic non-malignant pain, cognitive behavioural therapy, insomnia, sleep