The efficacy of integrated cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and acupressure versus CBT for insomnia: a three-arm pilot randomized controlled trial

Fiona Yan Yee Ho, Wing Ting Choi, Wing Fai Yeung, Hiu Kwan Lam, Wing Yin Lau, Ka Fai Chung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objectives: This pilot study aimed to examine the efficacy of integrated cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and acupressure in treating insomnia and its daytime impairments in a Chinese adult population. Methods: 40 eligible participants with insomnia were randomly assigned to either the integrated CBT and acupressure (CBTAcup) group (n = 14), the CBT group (n = 13), or the waitlist control (WL) group (n = 13). Participants in the CBTAcup group attended a 2-hour integrated CBT and self-administered acupressure group treatment once per week for six consecutive weeks, while participants in the CBT group attended six weekly 2-hour CBT for insomnia. Sleep, mood, daytime impairments, quality of life, and treatment credibility and adherence were assessed at baseline, immediate post-treatment (Week 7), and 4-week post-treatment (Week 11). Results: Linear mixed-effects models showed that both the CBTAcup and CBT groups had significantly lower insomnia severity (d = −1.74 and d = −2.61), dysfunctional beliefs related to sleep (d = −2.17 and −2.76), and mental fatigue (d = −1.43 and −1.60) compared with the WL group at Week 7. The CBTAcup group provided additional benefits in reducing total fatigue (d = −1.43) and physical fatigue (d = −1.45). Treatment credibility was found to be improved in the CBTAcup group from baseline to Week 7. Conclusions: Integrated CBT and acupressure demonstrated comparable efficacy to pure CBT in treating insomnia symptoms, with additional advantages to improve fatigue symptoms and acceptability in the Chinese population. Further methodologically rigorous studies on a larger scale and longer follow-up are warranted to confirm these findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-167
Number of pages10
JournalSleep Medicine
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • Acupressure
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Insomnia
  • Randomized controlled trial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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