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Sleep Disorders
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 7057282, 7 pages
Clinical Study

Auricular Acupuncture and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia: A Randomised Controlled Study

1Psychiatry, Department of Neuroscience, Uppsala University, 751 85 Uppsala, Sweden
2Lung, Allergy and Sleep Research, Department of Medical Sciences, Uppsala University, 751 85 Uppsala, Sweden
3Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Center for Psychiatry Research, Karolinska Institutet, Norra Stationsgatan 69, 113 64 Stockholm, Sweden

Received 19 February 2016; Revised 4 April 2016; Accepted 12 April 2016

Academic Editor: Michel M. Billiard

Copyright © 2016 L. Bergdahl et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. The most effective nonpharmacological treatment for insomnia disorder is cognitive behavioural therapy-insomnia (CBT-i). However CBT-i may not suit everyone. Auricular acupuncture (AA) is a complementary treatment. Studies show that it may alleviate insomnia symptoms. The aim of this randomised controlled study was to compare treatment effects of AA with CBT-i and evaluate symptoms of insomnia severity, anxiety, and depression. Method. Fifty-nine participants, mean age 60.5 years (SD 9.4), with insomnia disorder were randomised to group treatment with AA or CBT-i. Self-report questionnaires, the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI), Dysfunctional Beliefs and Attitudes about Sleep scale (DBAS-16), Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), and Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale (HAD), were collected at baseline, after treatment, and at 6-month follow-up. A series of linear mixed models were performed to examine treatment effect over time between and within the groups. Results. Significant between-group improvements were seen in favour of CBT-i in ISI after treatment and at the 6-month follow-up and in DBAS-16 after treatment. Both groups showed significant within-group postintervention improvements in ISI, and these changes were maintained six months later. The CBT-i group also showed a significant reduction in DBAS-16 after treatment and six months later. Conclusions. Compared to CBT-i, AA, as offered in this study, cannot be considered an effective stand-alone treatment for insomnia disorder. The trial is registered with NCT01765959.