Aims: To explore self-care management strategies for sleep disturbances and risk factors for poor sleep among older residents of nursing homes in Taiwan.
Background: With the deterioration of health that accompanies ageing, sleep quality becomes poorer, making it a significant issue in geriatric care. However, little is known about self-care strategies for management of sleep disturbances among elders worldwide.
Design: A cross-sectional design was used.
Methods: Residents (n = 196) were recruited from nine nursing homes chosen by stratified sampling across Taiwan. The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, a self-care management of sleep disturbance questionnaire and a demographic form were used to collect data.
Results: The prevalence of poor sleep in these older nursing home residents was 46.4%. Only 48.5% of participants used self-care strategies to manage sleep disturbances. The most frequently used strategy was 'take prescribed medicines'. Self-learning was the main information source for self-care strategies. Logistic regression analysis indicated that having no spouse and a low educational level significantly predicted poor sleep.
Conclusions: This study revealed a high prevalence of poor sleep quality among older residents of nursing homes in Taiwan. Older residents' inability to get relief from sleep disturbances may have been because of their limited use of strategies to manage sleep disturbances.
Relevance to clinical practice: As health care providers play an important role in helping older people to manage sleep disturbances in nursing homes, it is crucial to train nursing home staff to perform sleep assessments and provide current knowledge about sleep disturbance management. It is also necessary to pay more attention to the sleep problems of elders without spouses and with little education.