Efficacy of a Smartphone-Based Virtual Companion to Treat Insomniac Complaints in the General Population: Sleep Diary Monitoring Versus an Internet Autonomous Intervention.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


J Clin Med, Volume 11, Issue 15 (2022)


<p>(1) Background: Insomnia is the most prevalent sleep disorder worldwide and cognitive behavioral therapy is the front-line treatment. Digital health technologies have a role to play in screening and delivering interventions remotely and without the need for human intervention. The KANOPEE app, which provides a screening and behavioral intervention for insomnia symptoms through an interaction with a virtual agent, showed encouraging results in previous studies during and after the COVID-19 lockdown, but has not yet been evaluated in a controlled study. This study aims at comparing the benefits of KANOPEE, a smartphone application dealing with insomnia complaints, with another application proposing an electronic sleep diary named “My Sleep Diary”. The acceptance and potential benefits of these digital solutions are tested in real-life settings (i.e., without soliciting human medical resources) and in the general population. (2) Methods: Subjects were included if they downloaded one of the apps between December 2020 and October 2021, and were of legal age. Both apps were available on downloading platforms in France. Primary outcome was Insomnia Severity Index (ISI), and secondary outcomes were total sleep time (TST), sleep efficiency (SE) and wake time after sleep onset (WASO). (3) Results: A total of 535 users completed the intervention with KANOPEE and 489 users completed My Sleep Diary, both for 17 days. KANOPEE users improved their ISI score significantly more than sleep diary users (interaction Time*Group: F(2,2002) = 17.3, p < 0.001). Similar results were found for nocturnal sleep parameters (TST) (KANOPEE users gained 48 min of sleep after intervention, while My Sleep Diary users gained only 16 min of sleep), and particularly in the population with moderate to severe initial sleep complaints (F(4,1980) = 8.9, p < 0.001). Other sleep markers (SE and WASO) were significantly improved in the KANOPEE users compared to the sleep diary ones (p < 0.001). (4) Conclusions: KANOPEE provides significantly greater benefits than an electronic sleep diary regarding reduction of insomnia complaints and estimated nocturnal sleep characteristics in a self-selected sample of the general population. Population with the most severe initial ISI score (≥15) benefited the most from the KANOPEE App compared to filling up a simple sleep diary.</p>

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