The sleep, cancer and rest (SleepCaRe) trial: Rationale and design of a randomized, controlled trial of cognitive behavioral and bright light therapy for insomnia and fatigue in women with breast cancer receiving chemotherapy

Jordan Maccora, Sheila N. Garland, Maria Ftanou, Daphne Day, Michelle White, Veronica Aedo Lopez, Duncan Mortimer, Justine Diggens, Andrew J.K. Phillips, Rebecca Wallace, Marliese Alexander, Frances Boyle, Lesley Stafford, Prudence A. Francis, Bei Bei, Joshua F. Wiley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Insomnia and fatigue symptoms are common in breast cancer. Active cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy, appears to be particularly disruptive to sleep. Yet, sleep complaints often go unrecognised and under treated within routine cancer care. The abbreviated delivery of cognitive behavioral therapy for Insomnia (CBT–I) and bright light therapy (BLT) may offer accessible and cost-effective sleep treatments in women receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer. Methods: The Sleep, Cancer and Rest (SleepCaRe) Trial is a 6-month multicentre, randomized, controlled, 2 × 2 factorial, superiority, parallel group trial. Women receiving cytotoxic chemotherapy for breast cancer at tertiary Australian hospitals will be randomly assigned 1:1:1:1 to one of four, non-pharmacological sleep interventions: (a) Sleep Hygiene and Education (SHE); (b) CBT–I; (c) BLT; (d) CBT-I + BLT combined and simultaneously delivered. Each sleep intervention is delivered over 6 weeks, and will comprise an introductory session, a mid-point phone call, and regular emails. The primary (insomnia, fatigue) and secondary (health-related quality of life, rest activity rhythms, sleep-related impairment) outcomes will be assessed via online questionnaires at five time-points: baseline (t0, prior to intervention), mid-point intervention (t2, Week 4), post-intervention (t3, Week 7), 3-months (t4, Week 18), and 6-months follow-up (t5, Week 30). Conclusions: This study will report novel data concerning the comparative and combined efficacy of CBT-I and BLT during chemotherapy. Findings will contribute to the development of evidence-based early sleep and fatigue intervention during chemotherapy for breast cancer. Clinical trial information Registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (, Registration Number: ACTRN12620001133921.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106877
Number of pages8
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • Breast cancer
  • Chemotherapy
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Insomnia
  • Light therapy
  • Randomized controlled trial

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