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31.01.2018 | Original Article | Ausgabe 4/2018 Open Access

International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 4/2018

A randomized controlled intervention of workplace-based group cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia

International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health > Ausgabe 4/2018
Helena Schiller, Marie Söderström, Mats Lekander, Kristiina Rajaleid, Göran Kecklund
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s00420-018-1291-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Sleep disturbance is common in the working population, often associated with work stress, health complaints and impaired work performance. This study evaluated a group intervention at work, based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for insomnia, and the moderating effects of burnout scores at baseline.


This is a randomized controlled intervention with a waiting list control group. Participants were employees working at least 75% of full time, reporting self-perceived regular sleep problems. Data were collected at baseline, post-intervention and at a 3-month follow-up through diaries, wrist-actigraphy and questionnaires including the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) and the Shirom–Melamed Burnout Questionnaire (SMBQ). Fifty-one participants (63% women) completed data collections.


A multilevel mixed model showed no significant differences between groups for sleep over time, while there was a significant effect on insomnia symptoms when excluding participants working shifts (N = 11) from the analysis (p = 0.044). Moreover, a moderating effect of baseline-levels of burnout scores was observed on insomnia symptoms (p = 0.009). A post-hoc analysis showed that individuals in the intervention group with low burnout scores at baseline (SMBQ < 3.75) displayed significantly reduced ISI scores at follow-up, compared to individuals with high burnout scores at baseline (p = 0.005).


Group CBT for insomnia given at the workplace did not reduce sleep problems looking at the group as a whole, while it was indicated that the intervention reduced insomnia in employees with regular daytime work. The results also suggest that workplace-based group CBT may improve sleep in employees with primary insomnia if not concomitant with high burnout scores.

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