Prevalence of Sleep Disorders, Risk Factors and Sleep Treatment Needs of Adolescents and Young Adult Childhood Cancer Patients in Follow-Up after Treatment

Shosha H.M. Peersmann, Martha A. Grootenhuis, Annemieke van Straten, Gerard A. Kerkhof, Wim J.E. Tissing, Floor Abbink, Andrica C.H. de Vries, Jacqueline Loonen, Leontien C.M. Kremer, Gertjan J.L. Kaspers, Raphaële R.L. van Litsenburg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Sleep disorders negatively impact adolescent and young adult childhood cancer patients’ physical and psychosocial health. Early recognition improves timely treatment. We therefore studied the prevalence of subjective sleep disorders, risk factors and sleep treatment needs after completion of childhood cancer treatment. Methods: Childhood cancer patients (12–26 years old), ≥6 months after treatment, were invited to fill out the Holland Sleep Disorders Questionnaire, which distinguishes six sleep disorders in substantial agreement with the International Classification of Sleep Disorders, second edition (ICSD-2). They additionally indicated sleep treatment needs. Prevalence rates and needs were displayed in percentages. Logistic regression models were used for risk factors. Results: 576 patients participated (response rate 55.8%)—49.5% females, mean age17.0 years, 44.4% hemato-oncology, 31.9% solid tumors, 23.6% neuro-oncology. Prevalence rates were: insomnia (9.6%), circadian rhythm sleep disorder (CRSD; 8.1%), restless legs syndrome (7.6%), parasomnia (3.5%), hypersomnia (3.5%) and sleep-related breathing disorders (1.8%). Female sex, comorbid health conditions and young adulthood seem to be risk factors for sleep disorders, but cancer-related factors were not. Differing per sleep disorder, 42–72% wanted help, but only 0–5.6% received sleep treatment. Conclusions: Insomnia and CRSD were most prevalent. An unmet need for sleep treatment was reported by childhood cancer patients during follow-up. Screening for sleep disorders after cancer might improve access to treatment and patient wellbeing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number926
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This study was funded by the Dutch Cancer Society (DCS, call number 2016-2, grant number 10706).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


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