Pilot Test of Telephone-Delivered Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia for Veterans with Gulf War Illness

Nearly 25 years after the end of the Gulf War (GW), military personnel who served in that conflict continue to report health problems that are not adequately explained by established medical or psychiatric diagnoses. Because there is currently no evidence-based treatment for Gulf War Illness (GWI), in 2014 the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans illnesses recommendation that the “first priority of federal Gulf War illness research must be the identification of effective treatments to improve the health of GW veterans.” Because insomnia is common among veterans with GWI and untreated insomnia is associated with significant medical and psychiatric morbidity, this study will examine the efficacy of telephone-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT-I) for controlling sleep and non-sleep GWI symptoms in a two-arm randomized controlled trial. This may be an important first step towards identifying a non-pharmacologic treatment with low burden and few known risks for the estimated 175,000 veterans with GWI.