Home-Based Programs for Improving Sleep in Cancer Survivors

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Basic Trial Information

PhaseTypeStatusAgeSponsorProtocol IDs
Phase IISupportive careActive18 and overNCI, OtherNCCTG-N07C4
NCI-2011-01978, CDR0000656564, N07C4, NCT00993928

Trial Description


RATIONALE: Following a program that uses written materials and pre-recorded mp3 devices may help improve the sleep of cancer survivors. It is not yet known which home-based program is more effective in improving the sleep of cancer survivors.

PURPOSE: This randomized phase II trial is comparing two home-based programs for improving sleep in cancer survivors.

Further Study Information



  • To compare the efficacy of two home-based sleep interventions as therapy for sleep-wake disturbances,as measured by sleep latency or time to fall back asleep after initial sleep onset per sleep diaries, at baseline (week 1) and at the end of week 7 in cancer survivors.


  • To compare the efficacy of these interventions as therapy for sleep-wake disturbances as measured by the number of awakenings after sleep, sleep quality, sleep difficulty, and sleep latency at baseline (week 1) and weeks 4 and 7 in these participants.
  • To compare the efficacy of these interventions as therapy for sleep-wake disturbances as measured by the percentage of participants in each group who show improved sleep per the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index.
  • To compare the effects of these interventions on fatigue, mood disturbance, sleep, benefit, and distress in this patient population.
  • To describe the side effects associated with these interventions in these patients.
  • To describe patient practice habits and adherence measured via a sleep behavior record.
  • To explore symptom clusters in this patient population and look at distress as a mediating variable. (Exploratory)
  • To explore predictors of sleep quality. (Exploratory)

OUTLINE: This is a multicenter study. Patients are stratified according to current (≥ 1 per week in the past 4 weeks) pharmacological treatment, including anxiolytics, for insomnia or mood (yes vs no), current pharmacologic treatment for pain (yes vs no), sleep difficulty period (≤ 1 month vs > 1 month), and age (≤ 50 vs 51-70 vs > 70 years). Patients are randomized to 1 of 2 intervention groups.

  • Group 1: Participants receive a home-based sleep intervention comprising a Sleep Hygiene Education booklet, printed stimulus-control guidelines, instructions on sleeping restrictions, and a guided-imagery pre-recorded mp3 device. Participants meet with study personnel for intervention refinement and are asked to practice behaviors consistent with the stimulus-control sheet, to read the sleep hygiene booklet one chapter per day for 7 days during the first week, and then as needed during study. They are also instructed to use the CD, with or without headphones, in a quiet and comfortable place without lights for up to 30 minutes every day for 6 weeks before bedtime. Participants are instructed to go to sleep and wake at the same time every day during study intervention.
  • Group 2: Participants receive a home-based sleep intervention comprising a Sleep Hygiene Education booklet, printed stimulus-control guidelines, and a pre-recorded mp3 device containing short stories and essays. Participants meet with study personnel and are instructed to practice behaviors consistent with the stimulus control sheet, to read the sleep hygiene booklet, and use the CD as in group 1. Participants are not instructed about sleeping restrictions. They are offered the guided-imagery CD after study completion.

Patients complete a Three-Day Sleep Behavior Record for 3 consecutive days at baseline and during weeks 4 and 7 of study intervention. Patients also complete questionnaires on Numeric Analog Sleep for Pain Scale, daily use of CD, Sleep Hygiene Practice, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, Profile of Mood States, Brief Fatigue Inventory, Distress Thermometer, Side-Effect Questionnaire, and a Subject Global Impression of Change at baseline, during weeks 2 and 6, and after completion of study intervention.

Eligibility Criteria


  • Prior diagnosis of cancer
  • At least 2 months and ≤ 24 months since completed curative-intent treatment (chemotherapy, surgery, and/or radiotherapy)
  • Ongoing hormonal therapy (i.e., tamoxifen, aromatase inhibitors, casodex)
  • Concurrent trastuzumab and maintenance rituximab allowed
  • Sleep difficulty defined as self report of sleep latency of ≥ 30 minutes on 3 out of 7 nights in a week and wishing therapeutic intervention, and/or self report of waking up after first falling asleep and not being able to fall back asleep for ≥ 30 minutes on 3 out of 7 nights in a week
  • No history of diagnosis of primary insomnia (patient medical record, defined by having had behavioral, cognitive, or pharmacologic treatment) for > 30 consecutive days in the year before cancer diagnosis
  • No active cancer (i.e., not considered no evidence of disease)
  • No concurrent CNS malignancy
  • No history of diagnosed sleep disorder (i.e., obstructive sleep apnea, restless legs, or periodic leg movement disorder)


  • ECOG performance status 0-1
  • Availability of a CD player and head or earphones
  • Ability to complete questionnaires
  • No uncontrolled chronic pain (i.e., pain score of ≥ 4 on Numeric Analogue Sleep and Pain Scale)
  • No diagnosis of major depression disorder, acute anxiety disorder, or schizophrenia per medical record
  • No hot flashes that interrupt sleep
  • Not working overnight hours and unable to change schedule
  • No emotional, psychological, or physical state that, according to physician and/or study personnel evaluation, would preclude adherence to daily home intervention implementation


  • See Disease Characteristics
  • More than 4 days since prior corticosteroid, including inhaled steroids, of any dose for > 2 days
  • No prior experience with guided imagery or cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia
  • No concurrent new herbal therapies
  • Stable dose of daily herbal supplements started ≥ 8 weeks before study intervention allowed
  • Herbal teas or herbs in various drink products allowed
  • No concurrent treatment with variable doses of any of the following:
  • Antidepressants
  • Anxiolytics
  • Pain medication (not including over the counter ad anti-inflammatory pain relievers)
  • Pharmacologic treatment for sleep/wake disturbances is allowed, but must be used for 4 weeks before study entry, and can be used daily or intermittently

Trial Contact Information

Trial Lead Organizations/Sponsors

North Central Cancer Treatment Group

  • National Cancer Institute
Debra Barton, Study Chair

Link to the current ClinicalTrials.gov record.
NLM Identifier NCT00993928
ClinicalTrials.gov processed this data on April 09, 2015

Note: Information about this trial is from the ClinicalTrials.gov database. The versions designated for health professionals and patients contain the same text. Minor changes may be made to the ClinicalTrials.gov record to standardize the names of study sponsors, sites, and contacts. Cancer.gov only lists sites that are recruiting patients for active trials, whereas ClinicalTrials.gov lists all sites for all trials. Questions and comments regarding the presented information should be directed to ClinicalTrials.gov.