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Song Y, Washington DL, Yano EM, McCurry SM, Fung CH, Dzierzewski JM, Rodriguez JC, Jouldjian S, Mitchell MN, Alessi CA, Martin JL. Caregiving-Related Sleep Problems and Their Relationship to Mental Health and Daytime Function in Female Veterans. Behavioral sleep medicine. 2018 Jul 1; 16(4):371-379.
OBJECTIVE/BACKGROUND: To identify caregiving-related sleep problems and their relationship to mental health and daytime function in female Veterans. PARTICIPANTS: Female Veterans (N = 1,477) from cross-sectional, nationwide, postal survey data. METHODS: The survey respondent characteristics included demographics, comorbidity, physical activity, health, use of sleep medications, and history of sleep apnea. They self-identified caregiving- related sleep problems (i.e., those who had trouble sleeping because of caring for a sick adult, an infant/child, or other respondents). Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-4) was used to assess mental health, and daytime function was measured using 11 items of International Classification of Sleep Disorders-2 (ICSD-2). RESULTS: Female Veterans with self-identified sleep problems due to caring for a sick adult (n = 59) experienced significantly more symptoms of depression and anxiety (p < 0.001) and impairment in daytime function (e.g., fatigue, daytime sleepiness, loss of concentration, p < 0.001) than those with self-identified sleep problems due to caring for an infant or child (n = 95) or all other respondents (n = 1,323) after controlling for the respondent characteristics. CONCLUSIONS: Healthcare providers should pay attention to assessing sleep characteristics of female Veterans with caregiving responsibilities, particularly those caregiving for a sick adult.