The Resources for Effective Sleep Treatment (REST) project featured in the Health Foundation’s recent newsletter, ‘Stories of outstanding impact in primary care‘. The REST project is an ongoing area of research within the Quality and Outcomes in Primary Healthcare group at CaHRU led by Prof Niro Siriwardena and involving other members of the team including Fiona Togher, Viet-Hai Phung, Dr Coral Sirdifield, Dr Jo Middlemass and Dr Zowie Davy. The project was initially funded by the Health Foundation under their Engaging with Quality in Primary Care scheme to improve primary care for people with insomnia. Subsequent work has been funded by the Research Investment Fund at the University of Lincoln, the EPSRC and the East Midlands Health Innovation and Educational Cluster.
The research seeks to improve treatment for people suffering with sleep problems by promoting a range of treatment options beyond just sleeping tablets and has led to a series of peer-reviewed and highly cited publications in journals such as the British Journal of General Practice, Health Expectations, Sleep, Biomed Central Family Practice, and the British Medical Journal. Subsequent research has also been undertaken in collaboration with other institutions including Universities of Glasgow, Connecticut and Ghent and also Harvard and Oxford Universities.
The project led to its own REST project website (http://restproject.org.uk/) in 2011 and a REST e-learning programme for primary care professionals on how to manage insomnia using non-drug therapy which has been accessed almost 12,000 times by 10,000 users in over 150 countries with over 5,000 users in the UK alone. REST was showcased as one of three impact case studies submitted from CaHRU to REF2014.