ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (2): 173-195.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2016.00173

• Meta-Analysis • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A meta-analysis of self-help cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia: Efficacy, influential factors and the quality of evidence

REN Zhihong1,2,3; XIE Fei1,5; YU Xianglian4; SU Wenliang1; CHEN Lijun1; ZHAO Lingbo1   

  1. (1 School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Fuzhou University, Fuzhou 350108 China)
    (2 Key Laboratory of Adolescent Cyberpsychology and Behavior (CCNU), Ministry of Education,
    Key Laboratory of Human Development and Mental Health of Hubei Province, Wuhan 430079 China)
    (3 Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100101 China)
    (4 International College of Chinese School, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350108 China) (5 Department of Psychosis Studies; Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN); King's College London, UK)
  • Received:2015-07-27 Online:2016-02-15 Published:2016-02-15
  • Contact: ZHAO Lingbo, E-mail:


This meta-analysis evaluated the efficacy of Self-Help Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (SH-CBTI), explored potential moderators of treatment outcome and evaluated the quality of evidence. Thirty five studies were included, and results showed: (a) The immediate efficacies of SH-CBTI for SE, SOL, WASO, TST, SQ, depression and anxiety were 0.66, −0.52, −0.47, 0.20, 0.34, −0.32 and −0.33 respectively; (b) SH-CBTI and face-to-face CBTI showed an equal efficacy at post-treatment while both minimal treatment and pharmacotherapy showed significantly smaller effects; (c) Comorbidities and support formats had a significant impact on the outcome. Evaluation on the quality of evidence showed that qualities of SE, WASO, TST, depression and anxiety are moderate, which means that the true effect is likely to be close to the estimated one. Low-level evidence supports SOL and SQ qualities, which indicates that the true effect may be substantially different from the estimated one.

Key words: insomnia, cognitive behavioral, meta-analysis, self-help