Professor Colin Espie

  • Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Glasgow, Scotland
  • Director of the University of Glasgow Sleep Centre
  • Head of the Section of Psychological Medicine (Faculty of Medicine) and Chair of the Sackler Institute of Psychobiological Research

Current research interests

Professor Espie is a clinical psychologist who leads an internationally recognised sleep research group at the University of Glasgow. He has an international reputation for work in the field of sleep disorders, and is a leading authority on the assessment and treatment of insomnia and more generally on psychological aspects of human sleep.

Major research achievements

Professor Espie is recognised for his work on improving clinical care for people with sleep disorders, educating and training health care staff in sleep medicine
and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) methods, developing a stepped care model of triage and supervision, and increasing awareness of sleep quality as a public health priority. He has developed novel models for understanding insomnia as a psychophysiological disorder, in particular, the role of selective attentional bias as a maintaining factor. His research is funded primarilt by NIH, CSO, ESRC, Cancer Research UK, The Wellcome Trust and the Sackler Foundation. Last year Professor Espie and his team won the best patient support initiative category at the Pfizer Excellence in Oncology Awards for the CBT programme they developed for cancer patients suffering from insomnia. In 2010 Professor Espie will launch a new distance learning MSc in Behavioural Sleep Medicine for practitioners to be delivered by distance learning.

CCRE role & involvement in CCRE projects

Professor Espie will advise on research design and methods for CCRE projects and participate in training opportunities for CCRE staff and students.

Relevant publications

  1. Wild, M.R., Espie, C.A., Douglas, N.J. and Engleman, H. (2004) Psychological and clinical predictors of compliance with continuous positive airways pressure therapy for obstructive sleep apnoea: a prospective study. European Respiratory Journal 24, 1-5
  2. Kohn, L. and Espie, C.A. (2005) Sensitivity and specificity of measures of the insomnia experience: A comparative study of psychophysiologic insomnia, insomnia associated with mental disorder and good sleep. Sleep 28, 104-112
  3. Espie, C.A., Broomfield, N.M., MacMahon K.M.A., Macphee, L.M. & Taylor, L.M. (2006) The attention-intention-effort pathway in the development of Psychophysiologic Insomnia: a theoretical review. Sleep Medicine Reviews 10, 215-245
  4. Macphee, L.M., Biello, S.M., Broomfield, N.M., MacMahon, K.M.A. & Espie C.A. (2006) Who is pre-occupied with sleep?: A comparison of attention bias in people with Psychophysiologic Insomnia, Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome and Good Sleepers using the Induced Change Blindness paradigm. Journal of Sleep Research 15, 212-221
  5. Robertson, J.A., Broomfield, N.B. and Espie, C.A. (2007) Prospective comparison of subjective arousal during the pre-sleep period in primary sleep-onset insomnia and normal sleepers. Journal of Sleep Research 16, 230-238
  6. Espie, C.A., MacMahon, K.M.A., Kelly, H-L., Broomfield, N.M., Douglas, N.J., Engleman, H.E., McKinstry, B., Morin, C.M. Walker, A. & Wilson, P. (2007) Randomised clinical effectiveness trial of nurse-administered small group CBT for persistent insomnia in general practice. Sleep 30, 574-584
  7. Espie, C.A., Fleming, L., Cassidy, J., Samuel, L., Taylor, L.M., White, C.A., Douglas, N.J., Engleman, H.E., Kelly, H-L. & Paul, J. (2008) Randomized controlled clinical effectiveness trial of Cognitive Behavior Therapy versus Treatment as Usual for persistent insomnia in cancer patients. Journal of Clinical Oncology 26, 4651-4658
  8. Price, M. A., Zachariae, R., Butow, P.N., deFazio, A., Chauhan, D., Espie, C.A., Friedlander, M., Webb, P.M., The Australian Ovarian Cancer Study Group, The Australian Ovarian Cancer Study – Quality of Life Study Investigators (2009) Prevalence and predictors of insomnia in women with invasive ovarian cancer: anxiety a major factor. European Journal of Cancer, 45, 3262-3270
  9. Morin, C.M., Bélanger, L., LeBlanc, L., Ivers, H., Savard, J., Espie, C.A., Mérette, C., Baillargeon, L. & Grégoire, J-P. (2009) The natural history of insomnia: a population-based, three-year, longitudinal study. Archives of Internal Medicine, 169, 447-453
  10. Espie, C.A. (2009) 'Stepped care': a health technology solution for delivering Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as a first line insomnia treatment. Sleep, 32, 1549-1558
  11. Spiegelhalder, K., Kyle, S.D., Feige, B., Prem, M., Nissen, C., Espie, C.A., Riemann, D. (2010) The impact of sleep-related attentional bias on polysomnographically measured sleep in primary insomnia. Sleep 33(1), 07-112.