[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate the frequency of sleep problems in Australian children aged 4.5-16.5 years, and to determine whether the frequency of sleep problems on questionnaire predicts the reporting of sleep problems at consultation.
Parents of 361 children (aged 4.5-16.5 years) attending their general practitioner for "sick" visits were asked to assess their child's sleep over the previous six months using the Sleep Disturbance Scale for Children, from which six sleep "disorder" factors and a total sleep problem score were obtained.
The percentage of children with a total sleep problem score indicative of clinical significance (T score >70 or >95th centile) was 24.6% (89/361). Despite this high frequency, parents only addressed sleep problems in 4.1% (13/317) of cases and reported that GPs discussed sleep problems in 7.9% (25/317) of cases. Of the 79 children who reported total sleep problem T scores in the clinical range, only 13.9% (11/79) discussed sleep with their general practitioner within the previous 12 months. Regression analyses revealed an age related decrease in problems with sleep-wake transition and sleep related obstructive breathing; sleep hyperhydrosis, initiating and maintaining sleep, and excessive daytime sleepiness did not significantly decrease with age. No significant gender differences were observed.
Results suggest that chronic sleep problems in Australian children are significantly under-reported by parents during general practice consultations despite a relatively high frequency across all age groups. Given the impact on children and families, there is a need for increased awareness of children's sleep problems in the community and for these to be more actively addressed at consultation.
Archives of Disease in Childhood 09/2004; 89(8):708-12. · 2.91 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sleep breathing disorders (SBD) in children are reportedly underdiagnosed in general practice. A contributory factor may be parental underreporting of symptoms. This possibility was examined by comparing the frequency with which snoring was mentioned at general practitioner visits by parents with frequency that snoring was reported on questionnaire evaluation immediately prior to consultation. We also examined the effects of age and gender on SBD symptoms. Parents of 626 children aged 0 to 16 years attending their general practitioner for sick child visits completed selected items from the Sleep Disturbance Scale for Children and the Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome Expanded Childhood Questionnaire. Parents and general practitioners were also asked if snoring was discussed at the current consultation visit or at a prior consultation visit in the previous 12 months. Eighteen percent (112 of 626) of children were frequent snorers (more than three times per week), whereas 0.6 to 5.0% of children snored and had one or more additional SBD symptom suggestive of obstructive sleep apnea. SBD symptoms tended to peak in early to middle childhood with few gender differences. We found that snoring was patently underreported by parents. In the children with a history of frequent snoring on questionnaire evaluation and where the reason for the consultation visit was documented, snoring was mentioned by parents at the current consultation visit in only 8% (8 of 100) of cases and at a prior consultation visit in only 15% (15 of 100) of cases. The present findings support a need for increased parental education regarding the symptoms and clinical significance of SBD.
Sleep And Breathing 01/2004; 7(4):167-76. · 2.87 Impact Factor