Telemedicine and insomnia: a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis

Amir Sharafkhaneh, Nader Salari, Sepideh Khazaie, Hooman Ghasemi, Niloofar Darvishi, Amin Hosseinian Far, Masoud Mohammadi, Habibolah Khazaei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Telemedicine has been introduced as a new and effective method in dealing with public health challenges, improving access to health care, and reducing healthcare costs in today's world. Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder that can be managed with cognitive behavioural therapy, however, access to skilled therapists is an issue. Telemedicine improves access to care and thus, it may facilitate management of insomnia. The aim of this study was to assess whether telemedicine can be as effective as traditional in person sleep medicine service for the diagnosis, follow-up, and treatment of insomnia. In this systematic review and meta-analysis, studies related to telemedicine and insomnia were identified and selected, using the keywords of telemedicine, insomnia, sleep disorder, treatment, non-pharmacological treatment. The international databases of Embase, ProQuest, ScienceDirect, Scopus, PubMed and Web of Science (WoS), and Google Scholar were searched without a lower time limit, and until July 12, 2021. Data were analysed within the Comprehensive Meta-Analysis (version 2) software, and the significance level of the test was considered P ˂ 0.05. A systematic review of 16 selected studies showed that telemedicine interventions have a positive effect on improving insomnia in different groups. The meta-analysis was performed on 2 studies. Based on the results, CBTI interventions based on telemedicine have a greater effect on improving chronic insomnia than face to face CBTI with an average difference of 2.05 ± 0.66 based on the random effects model. Moreover, the difference between the mean in the telemedicine intervention group and the non-intervention group was 0.65 ± 0.19, which shows the positive effect of the telemedicine intervention. The use of telemedicine in treatment of insomnia not only accelerates access to sleep services, but can also improve the efficiency of health services in terms of time and cost, as well as therapeutic effects. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2022 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.]
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-130
Number of pages14
JournalSleep medicine
Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2022


  • Telemedicine
  • Insomnia
  • Meta-analysis
  • Systematic review
  • Sleep disorder


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