Long-term treatment effects of imagery rehearsal therapy for nightmares in a population with diverse psychiatric disorders
AbstractNightmares are a common problem with debilitating consequences. Meta-analyses have revealed that imagery rehearsal therapy (IRT), in which the storyline of the recurring nightmare is changed, is the treatment of choice for nightmares. In a randomized clinical trial, we recently demonstrated that IRT was also effective in a population of patients with diverse psychiatric disorders. In this trial, IRT showed moderate additional benefits over treatment as usual on nightmare distress, general psychopathology, and posttraumatic stress symptoms. In the current paper we report on the six- and nine month follow-up measurements of this trial. In the six- and nine-month follow-up the moderate improvements observed at post-treatment were sustained for all measures. This means that IRT has long-lasting effects which supports the notion that nightmares can and should preferably be treated as a separate disorder.
nightmares; imagery rehearsal therapy; comorbidity; psychiatric disorders; follow-up