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Problems sleeping with prostate cancer: exploring possible risk factors for sleep disturbance in a population-based sample of survivors

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Linda Sharp


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© 2019, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature. Purpose: This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of sleeping problems in prostate cancer survivors and to explore the role of predisposing, precipitating and perpetuating factors in this process. Methods: Using a cross-sectional design, 3348 prostate cancer survivors between 2 and 18 years post diagnosis reported experiences of insomnia using the QLQC30, along with their sociodemographic characteristics, health status and treatment(s) received. The EQ5D-5L and QLQPR25 assessed survivors’ overall and prostate cancer–specific health-related quality of life. A hierarchical multiple regression analysis was constructed with three blocks: (1) predisposing (e.g. demographics at diagnosis), (2) precipitating (e.g. disease extent, treatment) and (3) perpetuating factors (e.g. side effects). Results: Nineteen percent of survivors reported significant problems sleeping. The final model accounted for 31% of the variance in insomnia scores (p <.001). In order of magnitude, associates of sleep disturbance were urinary symptoms (β = 0.22; p <.001), experiencing symptoms of depression/anxiety (β = 0.18; p <.001), hormone treatment–related symptoms (β = 0.12; p =.001), pain (β = 0.10; p <.001) and bowel symptoms (β = 0.06; p =.005). Having a lower education and more comorbidities at diagnosis also predicted sleep problems. Conclusion: Results suggest that it is the ongoing adverse effects of prostate cancer and its treatment (e.g. urinary symptoms) that put survivors most at risk of sleep problems. Strong associations with symptoms of depression/anxiety were also observed. Findings highlight the need for health care practitioners to treat and manage adverse effects of prostate cancer treatment in order to mitigate sleep disturbance in survivors.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Maguire R, Drummond FJ, Hanly P, Gavin A, Sharp L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Supportive Care in Cancer

Year: 2019

Volume: 27

Pages: 3365–3373

Print publication date: 01/09/2019

Online publication date: 09/01/2019

Acceptance date: 27/12/2018

ISSN (print): 0941-4355

ISSN (electronic): 1433-7339

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s00520-018-4633-z


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