Kantonsspital St.Gallen

Group Psychotherapy in Narcolepsy Type 1

Sigrid Von Manitius, Verena Reiss, Cornelius Gehrig, Nicolas Germann & Dagmar Schmid


Narcolepsy type 1 (NT1) is a severe disorder of the sleep-wake system. A major comorbidity with neuropsychiatric symptoms exists, quality of life and performance often are reduced and patients feel alone with their disease. The aim of this pilot study was to find out, if a group psychotherapy with cognitive behavioural elements is helpful for these patients in addition to their normal medication.

The prospective pilot study includes 10 patients with NT1, who participated in a 6-week group psychotherapy program. Previous medication stayed unchanged during the investigation period.
Psychometric data were collected at T-1 (6wks waiting), T0 (pre-), T1 post-intervention, T2 follow up (16wks) including specific sleep-related symptoms, depression and anxiety symptoms, emotion regulation and health-related quality of life.

Improvement trends were found regarding quality of life, depression and anxiety symptoms and emotion regulation in the short-term outcome of therapy. A dynamic improvement was shown in the intraindividual course of 3 patients with pathological anxiety and depression, as well as a positive trend for emotion regulation in all patients in average. Follow-up measurements (12 wk) representing the long-term outcome are still pending.

The results demonstrate the described improvement in the complete group, lacking statistical relevance according to the small sample size. The data provide preliminary evidence that patients with narcolepsy can benefit from a cognitive behavioural group therapy in addition to standard drug treatment. We suggest to further explore cognitive behavioural therapy in a group setting as a complementary treatment strategy for narcolepsy.
keywords Neurologie; Psychotherapie; Gruppenpsychotherapie; Gruppentherapie; kognitive Verhaltenstherapie; Psychosomatik; PSOMA; Narkolepsie; Typ 1
citation Von Manitius S, Reiss V, Gehrig C, Germann N, & Schmid D (2022). Group Psychotherapy in Narcolepsy Type 1. In .
project Wirksamkeit von Gruppenpsychotherapie bei Narkolepsie Typ 1
type conference paper/poster (English)
name of conference Poster presented at the congress of SSP/SSTS - SSSSC Joint Annual Conference 2022 (Lucerne, Switzerland)
date of conference 30-3-2022
contact Nicolas Germann