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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2012, Article ID 235206, 10 pages
Research Article

A Chinese Chan-Based Mind-Body Intervention Improves Sleep on Patients with Depression: A Randomized Controlled Trial

1Department of Psychology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong
2Integrative Neuropsychological Rehabilitation Center, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, New Territories, Hong Kong
3Henan Songshan Research Institute for Chanwuyi, Henan 452470, China
4Division II, Kwai Chung Hospital, New Territories, Hong Kong
5Department of Special Education and Counselling, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, Tai Po, Hong Kong
6Institute of Textiles and Clothing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Received 22 November 2011; Accepted 25 December 2011

Academic Editors: P. M. Haddad and M. Scharf

Copyright © 2012 Agnes S. Chan 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.


Sleep disturbance is a common problem associated with depression, and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a more common behavioral intervention for sleep problems. The present study compares the effect of a newly developed Chinese Chan-based intervention, namely Dejian mind-body intervention (DMBI), with the CBT on improving sleep problems of patients with depression. Seventy-five participants diagnosed with major depressive disorder were randomly assigned to receive 10 weekly sessions of CBT or DMBI, or placed on a waitlist. Measurements included ratings by psychiatrists who were blinded to the experimental design, and a standardized questionnaire on sleep quantity and quality was obtained before and after the 10-week intervention. Results indicated that both the CBT and DMBI groups demonstrated significantly reduced sleep onset latency and wake time after sleep onset (effect size range = 0.46–1.0, 𝑃 0 . 0 5 ) as compared to nonsignificant changes in the waitlist group ( 𝑃 > 0 . 1 ). Furthermore, the DMBI group, but not the CBT or waitlist groups, demonstrated significantly reduced psychiatrist ratings on overall sleep problems (effect size = 1.0, 𝑃 = 0 . 0 0 ) and improved total sleep time (effect size = 0.8, 𝑃 = 0 . 0 5 ) after treatment. The present findings suggest that a Chinese Chan-based mind-body intervention has positive effects on improving sleep in individuals with depression.