Online Therapy for Insomnia at Helsinki University Hospital Proven to Be an Effective Treatment

The results are based on data from over 2600 patients between 2019 and 2021. The patients were monitored for three months and up to 34% of them had recovered from insomnia, almost half of them (46%) had their symptoms significantly reduced and almost all of them (91%) experienced improvements in their symptoms. The effect size (d=1.449) of the symptom count was high, which implies that the treatment is highly effective. Depressive symptoms had also improved during the treatment.

The effectiveness of the treatment was assessed by internationally approved symptom questionnaires that the patients had filled in during the treatment. Even the researchers were surprised by the results, even if quite a lot of international research exists on the topic. Online therapy is recommended for the treatment of insomnia in the national Current Care Guidelines in Finland, as well as in other countries, such as the United Kingdom. In Finland, the treatment is still clearly underused compared to its benefits.

Online therapy for insomnia benefits both the patients and society

The online therapy developed by the professionals at HUS Psychiatry is based on cognitive behavioural therapy, which is the primary treatment for insomnia. The online therapy program has been operating in Finland since 2019. The patient can access the therapy program through an app on their phone or tablet with the support of a therapist. The treatment is free of charge for the patient and available with a doctor's referral. You can start the treatment within a few days from receiving the referral. The treatment program lasts for seven weeks. Compared to local treatment, online therapy is highly cost-effective, much more accessible, and the patients can undergo therapy wherever and whenever they want.

"Insomnia is common. Around 10% of Finns can be diagnosed with an insomnia disorder, and up to one in three people suffer from insomnia symptoms occasionally," says Jan-Henry Stenberg, Head of the Psychiatry Unit at Helsinki University Hospital.

Insomnia is often associated with other conditions such as depression, cardiovascular diseases or chronic pain. Insomnia has a significant impact on the national economy through work-related disabilities and indirect costs.

Patient feedback:

"Very useful and helpful therapy, although at first I was a bit sceptical if this kind of independent therapy would even work. I would recommend this to anyone who is struggling with similar problems. “

"The doctor would have given me medicine for insomnia. I've been taking them for 25 years. I told the doctor that I wanted to try a drug-free treatment. I was suggested online therapy. Thank you very much to the great doctor! I realised that you can rehabilitate your thoughts and nervous system by yourself. It is slow, but repetition helps."

More information: