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INTRODUCTION: Consolidation of motor skill learning, a key component of rehabilitation post-stroke, is known to be sleep dependent. However, disrupted sleep is highly prevalent after stroke and is often associated with poor motor recovery and quality of life. Previous research has shown that digital cognitive behavioural therapy (dCBT) for insomnia can be effective at improving sleep quality after stroke. Therefore, the aim of this trial is to evaluate the potential for sleep improvement using a dCBT programme, to improve rehabilitation outcomes after stroke. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We will conduct a parallel-arm randomised controlled trial of dCBT (Sleepio) versus treatment as usual among individuals following stroke affecting the upper limb. Up to 100 participants will be randomly allocated (2:1) into either the intervention (6-8 week dCBT) or control (continued treatment as usual) group. The primary outcome of the study will be change in insomnia symptoms pre to post intervention compared with treatment as usual. Secondary outcomes include improvement in overnight motor memory consolidation and sleep measures between intervention groups, correlations between changes in sleep behaviour and overnight motor memory consolidation in the dCBT group and changes in symptoms of depression and fatigue between the dCBT and control groups. Analysis of covariance models and correlations will be used to analyse data from the primary and secondary outcomes. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The study has received approval from the National Research Ethics Service (22/EM/0080), Health Research Authority (HRA) and Health and Care Research Wales (HCRW), IRAS ID: 306 291. The results of this trial will be disseminated via presentations at scientific conferences, peer-reviewed publication, public engagement events, stakeholder organisations and other forms of media where appropriate. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT05511285.

Original publication




Journal article


BMJ Open

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