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Caregiving-Related Sleep Problems and Their Relationship to Mental Health and Daytime Function in Female Veterans.

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.

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Abstract:

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.





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