Sleep-wake functioning along the cancer continuum: focus group results from the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS(®)).
ABSTRACT Cancer and its treatments disturb sleep-wake functioning; however, there is little information available on the characteristics and consequences of sleep problems associated with cancer. As part of an effort to improve measurement of sleep-wake functioning, we explored the scope of difficulties with sleep in a diverse group of patients diagnosed with cancer.
We conducted 10 focus groups with patients recruited from the Duke University tumor registry and oncology/hematology clinics. Separate groups were held with patients scheduled to begin or currently undergoing treatment for breast, prostate, lung, colorectal, hematological, and other cancer types and with patients who were in posttreatment follow-up. The content of the focus group discussions was transcribed and analyzed for major themes by independent coders.
Participants not only reported causes of sleep disturbance common in other populations, such as pain and restless legs, but they also reported causes that may be unique to cancer populations, including abnormal dreams, anxiety about cancer diagnosis and recurrence, night sweats, and problems with sleep positioning. Many participants felt that sleep problems reduced their productivity, concentration, social interactions, and overall quality of life. Many also shared beliefs about the increased importance of sleep when fighting cancer.
The findings underscore the need for interventions that minimize the negative impact of cancer and its treatments on sleep. This study will inform efforts now underway to develop a patient-reported measure of sleep-wake functioning that reflects the breadth of concepts considered important by patients with cancer.
Article: Current methodological approaches to the study of sleep disturbances and quality of life in adults with cancer: a systematic review.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: In recent years, sleep disturbances and the health-related quality of life (QOL) experienced by adults with cancer, during and after cancer treatment, have received increasing attention in the scientific literature. The purpose of this paper was to systematically review current methodological approaches to the study of sleep disturbances and QOL in adults with cancer. Databases were searched to identify longitudinal studies of adults with cancer that measured sleep disturbances and QOL in the past 10 years. The review was focused in five primary areas: trends in publication, measurement of sleep and QOL, study design, changes in sleep disturbances and QOL, and the level of this evidence. Of the 40 studies that met the authors' criteria for inclusion, 75% were descriptive in design and 25% were intervention studies. Studies on sleep and QOL among cancer patients have become more common since 2000, include a range of sample sizes and settings, use a variety of measures of sleep and QOL, and examine patients undergoing many types of cancer therapies. No programs of research have been developed in sleep disturbances and QOL in adults with cancer. The 'evidence' that can be drawn from such studies is obviously weak. Current approaches usually describe changes over time, but have not described whether a relationship exists between sleep disturbances and QOL in adults with cancer. Directions for future research are suggested.Psycho-Oncology 06/2007; 16(5):401-20. · 3.34 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Little attention has been paid to sleep disturbance experienced by advanced cancer patients. The purpose of the present study was to investigate longitudinal change in sleep disturbance and to identify factors that associated with and predicted sleep disturbance among 209 consecutive terminally ill cancer patients. Patients were assessed twice for sleep disturbance by one item of the structured clinical interview for assessing depression, once at the time of their registration with a palliative care unit (PCU) (baseline) and again at the time of their PCU admission (follow-up), and possible associated medical and psychosocial factors were evaluated. The proportions of patients with obvious sleep disturbance at baseline and follow-up were 15.3 and 25.9%, respectively. Sixty-seven percent of the subjects showed some sleep status changes, including both aggravation and improvement, between baseline and follow-up. Being younger, having diarrhea and living alone were significantly associated with sleep disturbance at baseline, and the increase of psychological distress was the only significant predictive factor for sleep disturbance at follow-up. These findings suggest that psychological distress is a possible key cause of sleep disturbance and management of psychological distress may be one promising strategy for prevention of sleep disturbance among advanced cancer patients.Psycho-Oncology 11/2007; 16(10):888-94. · 3.34 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Cytokine-induced sickness behavior was recognized within a few years of the cloning and expression of interferon-alpha, IL-1 and IL-2, which occurred around the time that the first issue of Brain, Behavior, and Immunity was published in 1987. Phase I clinical trials established that injection of recombinant cytokines into cancer patients led to a variety of psychological disturbances. It was subsequently shown that physiological concentrations of proinflammatory cytokines that occur after infection act in the brain to induce common symptoms of sickness, such as loss of appetite, sleepiness, withdrawal from normal social activities, fever, aching joints and fatigue. This syndrome was defined as sickness behavior and is now recognized to be part of a motivational system that reorganizes the organism's priorities to facilitate recovery from the infection. Cytokines convey to the brain that an infection has occurred in the periphery, and this action of cytokines can occur via the traditional endocrine route via the blood or by direct neural transmission via the afferent vagus nerve. The finding that sickness behavior occurs in all mammals and birds indicates that communication between the immune system and brain has been evolutionarily conserved and forms an important physiological adaptive response that favors survival of the organism during infections. The fact that cytokines act in the brain to induce physiological adaptations that promote survival has led to the hypothesis that inappropriate, prolonged activation of the innate immune system may be involved in a number of pathological disturbances in the brain, ranging from Alzheimer's disease to stroke. Conversely, the newly-defined role of cytokines in a wide variety of systemic co-morbid conditions, ranging from chronic heart failure to obesity, may begin to explain changes in the mental state of these subjects. Indeed, the newest findings of cytokine actions in the brain offer some of the first clues about the pathophysiology of certain mental health disorders, including depression. The time is ripe to begin to move these fundamental discoveries in mice to man and some of the pharmacological tools are already available to antagonize the detrimental actions of cytokines.Brain Behavior and Immunity 03/2007; 21(2):153-60. · 4.72 Impact Factor