Differences in sleep parameters between oncology patients and their family caregivers
- Author(s): Carney, Sara Anne
- Advisor(s): Miaskowski, Christine
- et al.
PURPOSE: This study compared the occurrence rates for and severity of sleep disturbance in cancer patient-family caregiver (FC) dyads.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: One hundred and two dyads were recruited from two radiation therapy (RT) departments. Patients and their FCs completed the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and the General Sleep Disturbance Scale (GSDS) and wore wrist actigraphs to obtain subjective and objective measures of the occurrence and severity of sleep disturbance at the initiation of RT.
RESULTS: While the occurrence rates of clinically significant levels of sleep disturbance were high for both patients and their FCs, no differences were found between the dyads in these occurrence rates. Very few between group differences were found in the severity of any of the sleep-wake parameters using both the subjective and objective measures of sleep disturbance.
CONCLUSIONS: The findings from this study suggest that cancer patients and their FCs experience similar levels of sleep disturbance and that both groups could benefit from interventions that aim to promote restful sleep. In addition to routine and systematic assessment of sleep disturbance by oncology clinicians, interventions are needed that take into account the specific needs of the patient and the FC as well as the potential for partners' sleep patterns to influence one another.