Context: Current evidence shows that sleep-wake disturbances are a persistent problem linked to poor quality of life in women surviving breast cancer. Information regarding correlates of sleep-wake disturbances in long-term survivors is sparse.
Objectives: The objective of this study was to refine knowledge regarding prevalence, severity, and correlates of sleep-wake disturbances in long-term breast cancer survivors (BCS) compared with age-matched women without breast cancer (WWC).
Methods: The cross-sectional convenience sample included 246 BCS and 246 WWC who completed a quality-of-life study and were matched within +/-5 years of age.
Results: BCS were a mean of 5.6 years beyond completion of cancer treatment (range = 5.6-10.0 years). Based on Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) scores, BCS had significantly more prevalent sleep-wake disturbances (65%) compared with WWC (55%) (P < 0.05). BCS also had significantly higher PSQI global scores indicating poorer sleep quality compared with WWC (P < 0.05). Significant correlates of prevalence of poor sleep for BCS included hot flashes, poor physical functioning, depressive symptoms, and distress, and for WWC, these included hot flashes, poor physical functioning, and depressive symptoms. Significant correlates (P < 0.05) of severity of poor sleep for BCS included presence of noncancer comorbidities, hot flashes, depressive symptoms, and residual effects of cancer treatment. For WWC, these included hot flashes, poor physical functioning, depressive symptoms, and impact of a life event.
Conclusion: Knowledge of prevalence, severity, and correlates of sleep-wake disturbances provides useful information to health care providers during clinical evaluations for treatment of sleep-wake disturbances in BCS.
(c) 2010 U.S. Cancer Pain Relief Committee. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.