Combined light therapy and group psychotherapy as treatment for delayed sleep phase syndrome in university students. (2017)
Type of ContentElectronic Thesis or Dissertation
Degree NameMaster of Arts
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
AuthorsManning, Rebeccashow all
Delayed sleep phase syndrome is a circadian rhythm sleep disorder, prevalent amongst adolescents and young adults, the symptoms of which can cause distress and impairment in daily functioning. This study evaluated the effectiveness of a four week treatment programme integrating light therapy and group psychotherapy for university students with delayed sleep phase syndrome. A multiple-baseline across-groups design followed 18 university students (17-45 years of age) meeting ICSD-3 criteria for delayed sleep phase syndrome, over pre-treatment, intervention, and post-treatment phases, and at a 3-month follow-up. Primary outcome measures included the DASS-21, WHOQOL-BREF, Epworth Sleepiness Scale, and a measure of academic self-efficacy. Secondary outcome measures were sleep parameters recorded using a sleep diary. Results revealed improvements in some outcome variables (physical quality of life, stress), but no statistically or clinically significant change in the majority of outcome variables at post-treatment or follow-up. Suggestions to improve the effectiveness of subsequent programmes are discussed, alongside comparisons to similar programmes aimed at improving delayed sleep phase syndrome and its associated symptoms.