Category: Professional Posters
Purpose: Lietrature indicated that insomnia affects nearly one third of the Saudi population. National guidance for insomnia management recommends sleep hygiene advice, access to non-pharmacological treatments such as cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) and, in cases of severe insomnia that interferes with daily life, short-term use of hypnotic drugs. The current study aimed to assess the current practice in treating insomnia with hypnotics in Saudi Arabia, and to evaluate its agreement with the US guidelines.
Methods: The study was conducted using data collected about patients who were either prescribed benzodiazepines (BZDs) or Z-drugs or diagnosed with insomnia between April 2012 and March 2017 at tertiary care hospital in Jazan, an area in the southwest of Saudi Arabia. Data included documented diagnosis, use of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I), use of BZDs and/or Z-drugs in the treatment regimen, and whether physicians prescribed anti-histamines for insomnia. The data were analyzed using Stata 14.
Results: Of the 504 records reviewed, 379 patients (75%) were prescribed BZDs or Z-drugs; only 182 (48%) of them had clearly documented indications for their use. Three hundred and seven patients (60%) were diagnosed with insomnia; none of them received CBT-I as initial treatment. No patients on long-term use of hypnotics were reviewed by their physicians after they began using the medication. More than 43% of patients were prescribed anti-histamines for insomnia. No records met all (or even six) of the seven criteria. Most physicians did not follow US guidelines.
Conclusion: There is a need to improve physicians documentation about diagnosis and treatment guidelines. The study recoomends that physicians should be trained in prescribing hypnotics and national guidelines need to be developed.