The influence of sleep disorders on the quality of life in patients with chronic low back pain

Scand J Caring Sci. 2019 Mar;33(1):119-127. doi: 10.1111/scs.12610. Epub 2018 Aug 16.


Introduction: Low back pain (LBP) is one of the most common pain syndromes, and its prevalence has increased significantly in the past three decades.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of insomnia and daytime sleepiness on the quality of life (QOL) of patients suffering from chronic back pain.

Material and methods: It is a cross-sectional study conducted among 100 people (aged 25-75 years - mean age 49.53 ± 10.92) treated in a neurological clinic for chronic back pain lasting longer than 3 months. The diagnostic survey method was applied for the purposes of this study with the use of: the author's questionnaire and standardised questionnaires that is Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), Athens Insomnia Scale (AIS) and Polish version of WHO Quality of Life-BREF questionnaire (WHOQOL-BREF). The results were statistically analysed.

Results: Analysis of the study material showed that 83% of patients suffered from insomnia (scored 6 or more points on the AIS) and 29% experienced mild daytime sleepiness. People who were more sleepy during the day were characterised by lower perception of the QOL (r = -0.034, p = 0.029) and lower perception of general health (r = -0.035, p = 0.04). Analysis of multiple variables (using linear regression) showed that independent predictor of the QOL in all domains is the result of the AIS questionnaire (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: Sleep disorders - both insomnia and daytime sleepiness - are a common health problem experienced by people with LBP. Insomnia is an important predictor affecting the QOL in people with LBP.

Keywords: AIS, ESS; low back pain; quality of life; sleep disorders.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chronic Pain / etiology*
  • Chronic Pain / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / complications*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / etiology*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires