Current Study

 
 

 
 
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Sleeping for Two - Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CbT-I)

Insomnia symptoms are commonly experienced during pregnancy and there are few alternative treatment options to psychotherapy to treat these symptoms. However, there is greater teratogenic risk with psychotherapy as well as reluctance from expectant mothers to take medications. Cogntive behavioural therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) is an evidence-based psychotherapeutic intervention that combines cognitive and behavioural principles to address thoughts that contribute to the maintenance of sleep problems, and instruction in behavioural techniques to help participants decrease time to fall asleep and promote effective sleep maintenance. CBT-I has proven to be an effective treatment for insomnia in a number of other populations.

In our previous pilot study, CBT-I was found to significantly improved insomnia symptoms for pregnant women in comparison to baseline measure. With this current trial, we are investigating if these effects are maintained postpartum and if CBT-I is also related to lower risk of preterm birth.

You might be eligible to participate if you:

  • Are 18 years of age or more

  • Are between 12-28 weeks pregnant

  • Can read, write and speak in English

  • Have sleep problems/disturbances (like falling asleep, staying asleep, waking up too early, or staying awake during day-time)

If your are eligible, you will be asked to:

  • Do anonymous questionnaires about your sleep quality, fatigue (tiredness), mood, and demographic information

  • Wear a wrist-watch for 7 days to measure how much sleep you get and your sleep quality

  • Do 5 short 1.5-hour therapy sessions for sleep problems either face-to-face at the University of Calgary or online

    • You will be randomly assigned (like flipping a coin) to start therapy 1 week or 7 weeks after answering the questionnaires

We are not yet recruiting new participants! Thank you for your interest, please check back!

 
 

Past Studies

 
 

 
 
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Family sleep Study

Disturbed sleep during childhood can lead to impaired emotional regulation as well as hindered academic success. Children with cancer and their families often have more difficulties sleeping than their healthy counterparts; however, there is little knowledge as to how this disparity begins and progresses.

The Family Sleep Study examined long-term sleep and activity outcomes for pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) survivors who recently finished their treatment and their families.

Manuscript is under preparation.  

 
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Sleeping for two Pilot study

Each year, a large proportion of pregnant women experience insomnia during pregnancy, placing them at increased risk of negative obstetrical outcomes, elevated depression and anxiety, and poor infant sleep. However, pregnant women are reluctant to take medications for insomnia, leaving them without evidence-based treatment options. Cogntive behavioural therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) combines cognitive and behavioural principles to mitigate insomnia symptoms and has proven to be an effective treatment for insomnia in a number of other populations.

The Sleeping For Two Study looked at adult pregnant women with sleep problems/disturbances and the effects of (CBT-I) given face-to-face or online during pregnancy during early to mid-pregnancy.

Published article: https://doi.org/10.1080/15402002.2016.1141769

 

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) in Adolescents with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI)

Over 500,000 children are estimated to sustain a mTBI every year and sleep disruption is a commonly reported symptom following mBTI. When asked to rate symptoms during the initial hospitalization, 55% reported having trouble falling asleep and 54% reported sleeping less than usual. Although sleep disturbance is a common post-concussive problem, especially among individuals with protracted recovery, and linked to cognitive, academic, and mood complaints, few treatment options are available. Cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia has been shown to successfully treat insomnia in multiple populations and has been endorsed as standard treatment by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. The efficacy of this treatment option in youth who suffered form an mBTI was investigated with in this study.

Manuscript is under preparation.

 

Mindful Pregnancy Study

Elevated symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression are common in pregnancy and, if left untreated, poor obstetrical outcomes, changes in maternal physiology, elevated incidence of child physical and psychological disorders, or postpartum mood disorders may result. Despite our understanding of the impact of psychological distress on mothers and their children, there is a gap in our knowledge about the most effective treatments that are available for psychological distress experienced in pregnancy; specifically the use of mindfulness training in pregnancy to treat these symptoms. The study investigated the use of Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) intervention delivered during pregnancy to treat psychological distress.

Published Article: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-016-1601-0

 

Factors of Mindfulness and Sleep Study

This purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between qualities of mindfulness (e.g., trait mindfulness, self-compassion) and objective and subjective sleep parameters. Results of this study can be used to inform development of sleep oriented interventions.

Manuscript is under preparation.

 

Treatment Preferences for Paternal Postpartum Depression Among Fathers

The objective of this study was to investigate the experiences of fathers in the postpartum period and the opinions fathers have on different treatment options for paternal postpartum depression (PPD).

While maternal PPD is a well-documented mental health issue, paternal PPD has only more recently began to receive empirical attention and has found to be prevalent in new fathers. Paternal PPD is associated with adverse cognitive, emotional, and developmental outcomes in children, making it crucial to understand how best to treat these symptoms and support fathers with PPD. Participation in a patient preferred treatment for depression also increases treatment adherence and effectiveness. Thus, developing and delivering interventions that are preferred by the target population is an important aspect of successful treatment.

Published article: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2017.03.031