Project Summary

This research project is in progress. PCORI will post the research findings on this page within 90 days after the results are final. In the meantime, results have been published in peer-reviewed journals, as listed below.

What is the research about?

People with insomnia have a hard time falling asleep, staying asleep, or both. Insomnia can affect people’s overall health and daily lives. Black women are among those who are most likely to have insomnia. Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is one type of treatment for insomnia. With CBT, patients learn to change their patterns of thinking and behaving.

In this study, the research team is comparing three treatments for insomnia among black women. The treatments are an online CBT program, an online CBT program tailored for black women, and usual care.

Who can this research help?

Healthcare organizations can use results from this study when considering treatment programs for black women with insomnia. Black women with insomnia and their doctors can consider the findings when choosing insomnia treatments.

What is the research team doing?

The research team is recruiting 303 women from the Black Women’s Health Study who are 44 to 93 years old, have insomnia symptoms, and have internet access through a computer or tablet.

The research team is assigning participants by chance to one of three groups:

  • Sleep Healthy Using the Internet (SHUTi). Participants in this group have access to an online CBT program to treat insomnia. Past research studies have shown that SHUTi is as effective as in-person treatment for insomnia. The program includes six sessions that last about 40 minutes each. Each session includes videos, quizzes, and information to help improve sleep. Participants practice new ways to improve sleep each week.
  • Sleep Healthy Using the Internet for Black Women (SHUTi-BW). Participants get access to a version of the SHUTi program tailored for black women. The program includes six sessions that last about 40 minutes each.
  • Usual care. Participants receive information about habits to improve sleep. They get both an electronic and a paper copy of the information.

Participants fill out sleep diaries. They also complete surveys at the start of the study and again nine weeks and six months later. The research team asks participants about changes in their sleep quality and sleep patterns. The team also asks women about their beliefs and attitudes about sleep and changes in how they prepare for sleep. The team is using the information collected from sleep diaries and surveys to learn whether the three insomnia treatments change participants’ sleep.

Black women with insomnia, a patient advocate, a clinician who treats patients with sleep problems, an insomnia expert, a researcher, and a member of the Society of Behavioral Medicine are working with the research team to guide the development of SHUTi-BW and to plan and carry out the study.

Research methods at a glance

Design Elements Description
Design Randomized controlled trial
Population 303 black women ages 44 to 93 from the Black Women’s Health Study who have clinically elevated symptoms of insomnia and internet access through a computer or tablet
  • Sleep Healthy Using the Internet (SHUTi)
  • Sleep Healthy Using the Internet for Black Women (SHUTi-BW)
  • Usual care

Primary: change in sleep difficulties, change in quality and patterns of sleep, change in behavior pattern prior to sleep, change in beliefs and attitudes about sleep

Secondary: change in mood and quality of life; change in physical and emotional health; change in sleep intervention acceptability, utilization, and preference

Timeframe Timeframe Length of follow-up for collecting data on primary outcomes. View Glossary 6-month follow-up for primary outcomes

Project Information

Lynn Rosenberg, ScD, MS
Eric Zhou, PhD
Trustees of Boston University, BUMC
Reducing Health Disparities for Black Women in the Treatment of Insomnia

Key Dates

November 2017
July 2022

Study Registration Information


Has Results
Award Type
Health Conditions Health Conditions These are the broad terms we use to categorize our funded research studies; specific diseases or conditions are included within the appropriate larger category. Note: not all of our funded projects focus on a single disease or condition; some touch on multiple diseases or conditions, research methods, or broader health system interventions. Such projects won’t be listed by a primary disease/condition and so won’t appear if you use this filter tool to find them. View Glossary
Populations Populations PCORI is interested in research that seeks to better understand how different clinical and health system options work for different people. These populations are frequently studied in our portfolio or identified as being of interest by our stakeholders. View Glossary
Funding Opportunity Type
Intervention Strategy Intervention Strategies PCORI funds comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) studies that compare two or more options or approaches to health care, or that compare different ways of delivering or receiving care. View Glossary
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: May 6, 2022