Sleep disturbance in cancer patients and caregivers who contact telephone-based help services

Morris, Bronwyn A. and Thorndike, Frances P. and Ritterband, Lee M. and Glozier, Nick and Dunn, Jeff ORCID: and Chambers, Suzanne K. (2015) Sleep disturbance in cancer patients and caregivers who contact telephone-based help services. Supportive Care in Cancer, 23 (4). pp. 1113-1120. ISSN 0941-4355


Purpose: Insomnia is highly prevalent in people who are affected by cancer. However, options available to receive support for insomnia are limited. Telephone-based help services, such as cancer helplines, may be ideally placed to meet unmet needs regarding insomnia after cancer. The present study describes the prevalence and predictors of insomnia in patients and caregivers who call cancer helplines seeking support. Methods: Participants (N = 500 patients, N = 234 caregivers) were recruited through an Australian state-based telephone-delivered cancer helpline. In addition to routine screening with the Distress Thermometer, participants were administered the Insomnia Severity Index. Results: Most participants were female, older than 50 years of age, and were three (caregivers) to four (patients) months post-diagnosis. Insomnia symptoms were reported by 59.4 % of patients and 62.9 % of caregivers, with moderate to severe levels of insomnia reported by 27 % of patients and 30 % of caregivers. Insomnia was predicted by distress level for both patients (β =.31, p <.001) and caregivers (β =.32, p <.001) and age for patients only (β = −.13, p <.01). Conclusions: Insomnia symptoms are common in patients and caregivers who call cancer helplines and appear to be related to distress. Telephone-based helplines have the potential to act as the first line of support in a stepped care approach addressing insomnia.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2017 23:32
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2022 02:53
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cancer; Distress; Insomnia; Sleep; Adult; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Australia; Caregivers; Causality; Comorbidity; Female; Hotlines; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Neoplasms; Patient Education as Topic; Quality of Life; Sleep Disorders; Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders; Social Support; Telephone; Cancer; Public Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology;
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1112 Oncology and Carcinogenesis > 111299 Oncology and Carcinogenesis not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3211 Oncology and carcinogenesis > 321199 Oncology and carcinogenesis not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
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