Are you an ex-service personnel currently experiencing PTSD, disturbed sleep, and nightmares?
The Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation has launched their latest study investigating Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) and Imagery Rehearsal Therapy (IRT) for ex-serving Australian Defence Force personnel with PTSD and disturbed sleep.
We are seeking ex-service personnel to complete 8 weekly sessions of either CBT-I or CBT-I with IRT. The program will be free of charge and aims to improve sleep quality. The program is the first of its kind in Brisbane and is available for a limited time between June 2019 – December 2020.
The program will be delivered by registered psychologists at two locations in Brisbane, with several date/time options available (including after business hours) for accessibility. We are excited to announce that with the support of Mates4Mates our Veteran Sleep Therapy Study will now be more accessible to the veteran community. We will be offering an AFTER-HOURS program to be held at the Mates4Mates Brisbane Family Recovery Centre for a limited time only (spaces limited). The program will also be running during business hours at the Greenslopes Private Hospital.
To be eligible for participation, you are required to meet all of the following criteria:
- Ex-serving Australian Defence Force personnel
- Age ≥ 18 years
- Diagnosis of PTSD
- Suffering from insomnia and poor sleep
- Experiencing at least 2 distressing nightmares per month
- Stable medications for any condition for at least 1 month prior to participation
- Willingness and ability to attend 8 weekly group treatment sessions of up to 2 hours per session
What is Sleep Therapy?
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) is a program that targets behaviours and cognitions surrounding sleep to improve overall sleep quality and quantity. CBTi is a multi-component program that does include sleep hygiene, but also covers a lot more information and evidence-based techniques to improve sleep. There is existing evidence that supports its effectiveness in a diverse range of communities, and it is endorsed as a first-line treatment for insomnia. This study is looking at whether Imagery Rehearsal Therapy (IRT) can boost the effectiveness of standard CBTi for veterans.
Imagery rehearsal therapy is a program that targets nightmares through the use of dream rescripting and imagery exercises. IRT aims to equip participants with strategies to alter recurrent nightmares by “rescripting” an alternative, non-distressing ending to a chosen nightmare. Individuals then practice “rehearsing” the altered dream, with the goal of reducing the frequency and intensity of these upsetting dreams. In previous research, IRT has been found to reduce the frequency of nightmares and the distress caused by them.
Both interventions have been found to outperform pharmacotherapy for sleep and nightmares.
What previous participants have said…
- “Overall, this program was above my expectations and helped me learn about my sleep pattern and putting the right strategies in place if having trouble in sleep”
- “I have been able to have the energy to do things that I haven’t done in years.”
- “Some very workable strategies in improving sleep length and quality: Worked for me!!”
- “Made me think of the mechanics of my nightmares and rethink workable strategies.”
How to Participate
If you are interested in participating or would like more information about this opportunity for you or a mate, please visit the link below or contact the Veteran Mental Health Initiative Team on 07 3394 7657 or GMRF.VMHI@ramsayhealth.com.au
Note regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19):
The Veteran Sleep Therapy Study is offering veterans who experience nightmares and poor sleep the opportunity to join our waitlist to participate in sleep therapy group programs in 2020.
GMRF is committed to prioritising the health and wellbeing of its staff, patients and community. We would like to assure you that we have developed a proactive plan in response to the current COVID-19 public health crisis (read more here). For the Veteran Sleep Therapy Study, the decision has been made to postpone therapy groups until it is determined safe to proceed (decision to be re-evaluated end of June, 2020). This is to ensure the safety of vulnerable participants and staff. However, participants do still have the opportunity to complete the screening process face-to-face (following strict social distancing and hygiene standards), or alternatively, they have the option of joining our waitlist remotely by completing an online survey and phone/telehealth activities.
Please contact us if you have any questions or if you would like to express interest in participating in this study.
This project is sponsored by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs