Efficacy of Mantram Repetition Program on Insomnia in Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Lindsay Cosco Holt, RN
Hahn School of Nursing, University of San Diego, San Diego, CA
Jill Bormann, PhD, RN, FAAN
VA San Diego Health Care System, San Diego, CA
Taylor Andrews, BA
VA San Diego Healthcare System, San Diego, CA
Lin Liu, RN
Division of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Department of Family and Preventive Medicine University of California, San Diego, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA
Joseph F. Burkard, DNSc, CRNA
School of Nursing, University of San Diego, San Diego, CA

Purpose: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affects over seven million (3.5%) of the US adult population, 36% categorized as a severe diagnosis. In 2011, 476,515 veterans were currently seeking treatment for PTSD (http://www.va.gov/opa/issues/ptsd.asp). Statistics show that 87% of veterans with PTSD report sleep disturbances and 52% experience frequent nightmares, making sleep the second most common reason why veterans seek mental health care upon return from deployment (Germain et al., 2006). Poor sleep is related to daytime impairment including greater reaction to stimuli, decreased ability to focus and concentrate, impaired goal achievement, and greater risk of suicide (Nappi et al., 2011). Studies have sought to find a link between PTSD and sleep, and the importance of sleep in the recovery process, but there is a gap in the research on sleep disturbances and interventions for improvement in veterans with PTSD. The Mantram Repetition Program (MRP) teaches a portable method of meditation that has been shown to improve symptoms of PTSD in the Veteran population (Bormann et al., 2012). Qualitative studies have shown that veterans report improvements in sleep by using skills learned in the MRP. However, no quantitative study has been conducted to assess veteran sleep patterns before and after MRP.

This study’s aims were to: (1) Evaluate the efficacy of the MRP on sleep habits; (2) Identify the aspects of sleep that are positively influenced by the MRP; and (3) Assess the demographic variables and their relationships to MRP and sleep outcomes.

Methods: The study design is a within group pre-post test design. Four primary screening tools were used to evaluate PTSD symptom burden and sleep habits including the Clinical Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) interview, Insomnia Severity Index (ISI), Glasgow Sleep Effort Scale (GSES), and Pre Sleep Arousal Scale (PSAS).

Results: Results for this study are pending.

Conclusion: With new cases of PTSD being diagnosed every day, more research is needed for best practices to improve outcomes for current and future veterans.  With the present gaps in sleep knowledge and its effect on daytime symptoms, this research will help further identify interventions that are evidence-based with data-grounded results on intervention progression as well as symptom improvement. These studies address the global issues of PTSD, hoping to further expand treatment availability to those coming home from combat, and also looking to discover the best ways to prevent PTSD in the future. Results from this study will lend to the foundation of sleep intervention research on veterans with PTSD, in hopes to aid in symptom relief of veterans who have suffered with the adverse effects of the disorder.  Research results will further explore the value of the MRP, aiding in its dissemination for others to learn and practice as a part of their daily routine.