Objective: Although sleep disorders are highly prevalent among patients with physical disorders, only limited information is available about the actual status of sleep-related problems in inpatients of acute hospital wards. We conducted a multicenter cross-sectional observational survey investigating the prevalence of sleep disorders and use of hypnotic-sedative drugs among inpatients of acute wards in 44 general hospitals in Japan.
Method: Questionnaire-, actigraph- and observation-based sleep evaluations were simultaneously performed in 557 adult inpatients [mean age 72.8 + or - 12.8 (S.D.) years] of acute wards during a one-month period in July 2007.
Results: Of the 421 patients with data available, 22.3% had at least one of the following sleep disorders: sleep apnea syndrome, restless legs syndrome, periodic limb movement disorder and nocturnal behavior disorder. Similarly, 62.7% had insomnia, 6.9% had severe daytime sleepiness and 12.8% had other sleep-related symptoms. Only 13.8% were free of any sleep-related problem. Although 33.7% of insomnia patients were taking hypnotic-sedative drugs, 65.2% of them complained of residual insomnia symptoms.
Conclusion: The findings obtained in this study have revealed the remarkably high prevalence of sleep-related problems experienced by inpatients of acute hospital wards in Japan. Proper diagnosis of sleep disorders should be made among patients with physical disorders.
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