Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 176–183

Sleep management training for cancer patients with insomnia

Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00520-004-0594-5

Cite this article as:
Simeit, R., Deck, R. & Conta-Marx, B. Support Care Cancer (2004) 12: 176. doi:10.1007/s00520-004-0594-5


Insomnia is a common phenomenon in cancer patients; nevertheless, there are only a few intervention results published covering this topic. We examined the effects of a multi-modal psychological sleep management programme combining relaxation techniques, sleep hygiene, cognitive techniques and advice in stimulus control technique on various sleep and quality-of-life variables. We compared two intervention groups up to 6 months after treatment, one with progressive muscle relaxation (n=80), the other with autogenic training (n=71). A control group (n=78) received only a standard rehabilitation programme. It was a heterogeneous sample of adult patients (mean age 58 years) predominantly with breast, kidney or prostate cancer staying for 3 or 4 weeks in an oncological rehabilitation clinic. In comparison to the control group, the analysis of variance for repeated measures (R-MANOVA) showed significant improvements over time, indicating that intervention group participants benefited with moderate- or large-scale effects on sleep latency (p<0.001), sleep duration (p<0.001), sleep efficiency (p<0.001), sleep quality (p<0.001), sleep medication (p<0.05) and daytime dysfunction (p<0.05). In quality-of-life subscales, there was mainly improvement over time. This may indicate a benefit of the rehabilitation treatment in general. No evidence was found for any differences between the two intervention groups. The results suggest that the use of a multi-modal psychological sleep intervention could enhance various sleep parameters and well being of patients. The efficacy on quality of life is still under review.


InsomniaSleep managementRelaxationQuality of life

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Röpersbergklinik RatzeburgRatzeburgGermany
  2. 2.Institut für Sozialmedizin der Universitätsklinik LübeckLübeckGermany
  3. 3.Röpersbergklinik RatzeburgRatzeburgGermany