Send to

Choose Destination
Psychosom Med. 2017 Jul/Aug;79(6):706-718. doi: 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000469.

Investigating Clinical Benefits of a Novel Sleep-Focused Mind-Body Program on Gulf War Illness Symptoms: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

Author information

From the Pain Research Center (Nakamura, Lipschitz, Donaldson, Kida, Williams), Department of Anesthesiology, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah; College of Social Work (Landward), University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah; Integrative Health (Glover), Division of Holistic Health, VA Medical Center, Salt Lake City, Utah; and VA Medical Center and University of Utah (West, Tuteja), Salt Lake City, Utah.



Mind-Body Bridging (MBB) has been shown to be effective for improving disturbed sleep. In this prospective randomized controlled trial, we evaluated the efficacy of sleep-focused MBB compared with sleep education control (SED) for improving sleep in previously deployed Gulf War veterans.


US military service members with sleep and physical health complaints who were deployed in 1990-1991 were randomized to receive three weekly sessions of either MBB (n = 33) or SED (n = 27) between 2012 and 2015. The primary outcome of Medical Outcomes Study Sleep Scale was completed at baseline, weekly during treatment, postintervention, and 3-month follow-up. Secondary outcome measures for posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, fatigue, quality of life, symptom severity, and mindfulness were completed at baseline, postintervention and 3-month follow-up. Salivary samples were collected at five time points per day at each visit for cortisol and α-amylase assessment. Clinician-administered assessments of sleep and co-occurring conditions were conducted at baseline and postintervention.


MBB was significantly more efficacious than SED in reducing disturbed sleep at follow-up (F(1,180.54) = 4.04, p = .046). In addition, self-reported posttraumatic stress disorder (F(1,56.42) = 4.50, p = .038) for the treatment effect, depression (F(1,93.70) = 4.44, p = .038), and fatigue symptoms (F(1,68.58) = 3.90, p = .050) at follow-up improved in MBB compared with those in SED. Consistently higher percentages of veterans in MBB reported improvements of sleep, pain, and composite sleep/general co-occurring symptoms at the postclinical evaluation, as compared with veterans in SED. Finally, the mean waking level of salivary α-amylase in the MBB declined to a greater extent than that in the SED, at follow-up (F(1,88.99) = 3.78, p = .055), whereas no effects were found on cortisol.


Sleep-focused MBB can improve sleep and possibly also co-occurring symptoms in Gulf War veterans.


[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wolters Kluwer
Loading ...
Support Center