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Need Sleep? Interventions for Healthful Sleep

Drucilla Brethwaite, MSW, LCSW and Darah Curran, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C
Recorded on October 11, 2018

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About this Live Interactive Webinar 

Cancer is a complex illness that often carries a significant burden of side effects for patients, who are today experiencing an increased number of years in survivorship. Insomnia (i.e. trouble falling asleep, maintaining sleep, early morning awakenings and non-restorative sleep), is prevalent in patients with cancer and their caregivers and often goes undertreated. Insomnia impacts quality of life and also has the potential to interfere with immune functioning and patient treatment outcomes (Lis, C.G., Gupta, D., and Grytsch, J.F., 2008). Causes of insomnia include dysfunctional beliefs about sleep, fears, ruminating thoughts, and maladaptive behaviors.  Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) has been shown to be an effective intervention for sleep disturbance, and can be preferable to pharmacotherapy, which is often associated with side effects (Perlis, M.L., Jungquist, C., Smith, M.T., & Posner, D., 2008).  Need Sleep? was created as a multi-component, structured, cognitive behavioral program for patients and caregivers who identify sleep disturbance as a problem, but have not been diagnosed with a sleep disorder. Session content includes education on insomnia and the role of dysfunctional beliefs about sleep, ruminating thoughts and fears. Information on sleep hygiene and relaxation techniques are also provided and the concepts of sleep restriction and stimulus control are discussed.  Weekly sleep diaries are used both as a learning tool and as a way to calculate sleep efficiency.  In session worksheets and homework assignments serve to reinforce learning.  Such evidence based interventions have the potential to increase quality of life and reduce negative health outcomes. Oncology social workers would benefit from learning a protocol, such as “Need Sleep?” which would provide them with strategies to better assist patients and caregivers experiencing insomnia. 

Learning Objectives
At the end of the presentation, the participant will be able to:
  • Describe an awareness of the biopsychosocial impact of insomnia on patients and caregivers
  • Evaluate the effectiveness and limitations of a structured CBT-I intervention 
  • Apply framework and elements to implement a CBT-I intervention for an individual or group program

    Drucilla Brethwaite, MSW, LCSW, oversees the delivery of programs, processes, and procedures for patients and families as a Director at Inova Schar Cancer Institute’s, Life with Cancer program. In addition, she provides counseling to individuals, couples, and families to promote adjustment to illness and improved quality of life. Drucilla co-facilitates a number of groups and engages in research and publishing. Drucilla earned a master’s in social work from Virginia Commonwealth University, is a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, and was named NASW Oncology Social Worker in 2014. Drucilla also has been an adjunct faculty member at George Mason University, teaching in the Social Work Department.

  Darah Curran, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C, is a Manager of Oncology Navigation and Counseling at ISCI’s Life with Cancer. In her ten years at Life with Cancer, she has supported pediatric oncology patients as well as provided clinical support for both inpatient and outpatient adult patients and caregivers. She has presented at national conferences on the topic of insomnia and cancer. Areas of interest include adjustment to illness, insomnia, mind-body wellness, resiliency, and grief/bereavement. Darah has 20 years of social work experience, having worked in home-based counseling for 10 years prior to receiving her master’s in social work from Catholic University. She maintains a private practice in Northern Virginia.

Continuing Education Credits
Level - Intermediate
Participants will earn 1.5 CE credits upon successful completion of a quiz and a post-webinar evaluation. 

Course Designation
This course has been approved for 1.5 Clinical continuing education clock hours.

12:00 p.m. - 12:20 p.m.: Describe an awareness of the biopsychosocial impact of insomnia on patients and caregivers
12:21 p.m. - 12:41 p.m.: Evaluate the effectiveness and limitations of a structured CBT-I intervention
12:42 p.m. - 1:02 p.m.: Apply framework and elements to implement a CBT-I intervention for an individual or group program
1:03 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.: Questions and Answers


ASSOCIATION OF SOCIAL WORK BOARDS (ASWB):  This organization, Association of Oncology Social Workers, ACE Approval #1351, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Program. AOSW maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 11/11/16 - 11/11/19.  Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. 

Association of Oncology Social Work, Inc., SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0320.

GRIEVANCE POLICY: ASOW will comply with all legal and ethical responsibilities to be non-discriminatory in promotional activities, program content and in the treatment of program participants. The monitoring and assessment of compliance with these standards will be responsibility of the Education Director in consultation with the Education Chair and clinical director from committee. We do our best to anticipate problems and, when they do present themselves, will attempt to alleviate complaints as quickly as possible. When a complaint, either verbally or written, is received, the following guidelines are followed with respect to achieving resolution: (1) Complaints relative to a speaker or workshop leader, contents of instructional materials being presented, or an individual educational style being utilized, the individual voicing disapproval is requested to place his/her comments in writing. An AOSW representative will convey these comments to the speaker, assuring the confidentiality of the grieved individual. (2) If the complaint concerns a continuing education activity, its content, level of presentation, or facilities in which the event is being held, the representative in charge will attempt to resolve the matter as expeditiously as possible. If the offered resolution (resolutions offered may include, but not be limited to partial/full refund of registration fees paid; credit toward future event) not satisfactory to the individual filing the complaint, then further action may be taken as follows. (3) The individual is requested to place his/her complaint in writing to the attention of the Education Director, The Association of Oncology Social Work, 17W110 22nd St, Suite 800, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181. The complaint is then reviewed by the Education Director in consultation with the Clinical Director and Education Advisor. A written response will be issued within 30-days of receipt of the written complaint.

ADA ACCOMODATIONS: For questions about accessibility or to request accommodations please contact AOSW Education Department at 847-686-2233. Advance notice is necessary to arrange for some accessibility needs.