Study recruitment closed effective 16 October 2020: Please note this research is no longer taking new expressions of interest for participation.

Are you an ex-service personnel currently experiencing PTSD, disturbed sleep, and nightmares?

The Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation has launched the Veteran Sleep Therapy Study to explore what the best possible psychological treatment approaches are for veterans who suffer from poor sleep, nightmares and PTSD. We are offering two group psychological treatments; Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) and Imagery Rehearsal Therapy (IRT). Both interventions have been found to outperform sleep medication for improving sleep and nightmares (more information on these therapies below).

What it involves

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.

Dates and Locations

The program is the first and only 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.

  • AFTER-HOURS programs to be held at the Mates4Mates Brisbane Family Recovery Centre for a limited time only (spaces limited).
  • Business hours programs available at Greenslopes Private Hospital
Who is eligible?

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

*Note: Diagnosis of PTSD is either assessed at screening with a psychologist or with evidence of a DVA Approved PTSD Diagnosis as required. Please contact us if you have any queries about your eligibility.

How to participate

Study recruitment closed effective 16 October 2020: Please note this research is no longer taking new expressions of interest for participation.

If you have any queries about the study, please contact the Veteran Mental Health Initiative Team on 07 3394 7657 or GMRF.VMHI@ramsayhealth.com.au

What previous participants have said
  • “My sleep has improved dramatically.”
  • “This has made a significant difference to my life. I am actually able to get to sleep easier and get better quality of sleep.”
  • “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.”
  • “Made me think of the mechanics of my nightmares and rethink workable strategies.”
  • “Great to see and hear where other members are and realise that I am not the only person who suffered poor sleep.”
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 (medications) for sleep and nightmares.

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, face-to-face screening processes are still available, or alternatively, there is the option of joining our waitlist remotely by completing an online survey and phone/telehealth activities. Therapy groups  will be recommencing from July 2020, following strict social distancing and hygiene standards in accordance with government regulations.

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