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 will be delivered by a registered psychologist at Greenslopes Private Hospital in Brisbane. The program is the first of its kind in Brisbane and is available for a limited time between June 2019 – December 2020.

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.”

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

https://survey.websurveycreator.com/s/EOI-SleepStudy

This project is sponsored by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs