Nightmare Disorder | Study on the Psychotherapeutic Treatment of Chronic Nightmares

Nightmare Disorder research study

What is the primary objective of this study?

The purpose of this study is to determine whether a change in the content of nightmares is necessary at all in the treatment of chronic nightmares or if a single confrontation with their content is sufficient to reduce nightmare frequency significantly.

Who is eligible to participate?

Inclusion Criteria: - nightmare frequency of at least one night per week for six month duration - stable medication - if currently in psychotherapy: no treatment of nightmares - Informed consent Exclusion Criteria: - Life time clinical diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder or bipolar disorder according to DSM-IV - Body mass index < 17 - Initiation of nightmares after taking pharmaceuticals - Clinical diagnosis of alcohol or drug addiction according to DSM-IV - Mental retardation

Which medical condition, disease, disorder, syndrome, illness, or injury is researched?

Nightmare Disorder

Study Interventions

Interventions can include giving participants drugs, medical devices, procedures, vaccines, and other products that are either investigational or already available or noninvasive approaches such as surveys, education, and interviews.

Behavioral:Imagery Rehearsal TreatmentImagery Rehearsal Therapy



Study Arms

Research studies and clinical trials typically have two or more research arms. An arm is a group of people who receive the same treatment in the study.

Imagery Rehearsal TreatmentImagery Rehearsal Treatment; 1 session on-site and 4 weeks of individual daily training; following principles Krakow and Zadra (2006)

ConfrontationConfrontation with nightmare content, until fear reaction habituates; 1 session on-site and 4 weeks of individual daily training

ImaginationImagination of a safe and pleasant site; 1 session on-site and 4 weeks of individual daily training

Study Status


Start Date: October 2009

Completed Date: November 8, 2017

Phase: N/A

Type: Interventional


Primary Outcome: frequency of nightmares

Secondary Outcome: Anxiety

Study sponsors, principal investigator, and references

Principal Investigator: Regina Steil, PhD

Lead Sponsor: Goethe University


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