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      Systematic review of sleep disorders in cancer patients: can the prevalence of sleep disorders be ascertained?

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          Although sleep is vital to all human functioning and poor sleep is a known problem in cancer, it is unclear whether the overall prevalence of the various types of sleep disorders in cancer is known. The purpose of this systematic literature review was to evaluate if the prevalence of sleep disorders could be ascertained from the current body of literature regarding sleep in cancer. This was a critical and systematic review of peer-reviewed, English-language, original articles published from 1980 through 15 October 2013, identified using electronic search engines, a set of key words, and prespecified inclusion and exclusion criteria. Information from 254 full-text, English-language articles was abstracted onto a paper checklist by one reviewer, with a second reviewer randomly verifying 50% ( k = 99%). All abstracted data were entered into an electronic database, verified for accuracy, and analyzed using descriptive statistics and frequencies in SPSS (v.20) (North Castle, NY). Studies of sleep and cancer focus on specific types of symptoms of poor sleep, and there are no published prevalence studies that focus on underlying sleep disorders. Challenging the current paradigm of the way sleep is studied in cancer could produce better clinical screening tools for use in oncology clinics leading to better triaging of patients with sleep complaints to sleep specialists, and overall improvement in sleep quality.

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          Most cited references 279

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          Preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses: the PRISMA statement.

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            The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index: a new instrument for psychiatric practice and research.

            Despite the prevalence of sleep complaints among psychiatric patients, few questionnaires have been specifically designed to measure sleep quality in clinical populations. The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) is a self-rated questionnaire which assesses sleep quality and disturbances over a 1-month time interval. Nineteen individual items generate seven "component" scores: subjective sleep quality, sleep latency, sleep duration, habitual sleep efficiency, sleep disturbances, use of sleeping medication, and daytime dysfunction. The sum of scores for these seven components yields one global score. Clinical and clinimetric properties of the PSQI were assessed over an 18-month period with "good" sleepers (healthy subjects, n = 52) and "poor" sleepers (depressed patients, n = 54; sleep-disorder patients, n = 62). Acceptable measures of internal homogeneity, consistency (test-retest reliability), and validity were obtained. A global PSQI score greater than 5 yielded a diagnostic sensitivity of 89.6% and specificity of 86.5% (kappa = 0.75, p less than 0.001) in distinguishing good and poor sleepers. The clinimetric and clinical properties of the PSQI suggest its utility both in psychiatric clinical practice and research activities.
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              The role of actigraphy in the study of sleep and circadian rhythms.

              In summary, although actigraphy is not as accurate as PSG for determining some sleep measurements, studies are in general agreement that actigraphy, with its ability to record continuously for long time periods, is more reliable than sleep logs which rely on the patients' recall of how many times they woke up or how long they slept during the night and is more reliable than observations which only capture short time periods. Actigraphy can provide information obtainable in no other practical way. It can also have a role in the medical care of patients with sleep disorders. However, it should not be held to the same expectations as polysomnography. Actigraphy is one-dimensional, whereas polysomnography comprises at least 3 distinct types of data (EEG, EOG, EMG), which jointly determine whether a person is asleep or awake. It is therefore doubtful whether actigraphic data will ever be informationally equivalent to the PSG, although progress on hardware and data processing software is continuously being made. Although the 1995 practice parameters paper determined that actigraphy was not appropriate for the diagnosis of sleep disorders, more recent studies suggest that for some disorders, actigraphy may be more practical than PSG. While actigraphy is still not appropriate for the diagnosis of sleep disordered breathing or of periodic limb movements in sleep, it is highly appropriate for examining the sleep variability (i.e., night-to-night variability) in patients with insomnia. Actigraphy is also appropriate for the assessment of and stability of treatment effects of anything from hypnotic drugs to light treatment to CPAP, particularly if assessments are done before and after the start of treatment. A recent independent review of the actigraphy literature by Sadeh and Acebo reached many of these same conclusions. Some of the research studies failed to find relationships between sleep measures and health-related symptoms. The interpretation of these data is also not clear-cut. Is it that the actigraph is not reliable enough to the access the relationship between sleep changes and quality of life measures, or, is it that, in fact, there is no relationship between sleep in that population and quality of life measures? Other studies of sleep disordered breathing, where actigraphy was not used and was not an outcome measure also failed to find any relationship with quality of life. Is it then the actigraph that is not reliable or that the associations just do not exist? The one area where actigraphy can be used for clinical diagnosis is in the evaluation of circadian rhythm disorders. Actigraphy has been shown to be very good for identifying rhythms. Results of actigraphic recordings correlate well with measurements of melatonin and of core body temperature rhythms. Activity records also show sleep disturbance when sleep is attempted at an unfavorable phase of the circadian cycle. Actigraphy therefore would be particularly good for aiding in the diagnosis of delayed or advanced sleep phase syndrome, non-24-hour-sleep syndrome and in the evaluation of sleep disturbances in shift workers. It must be remembered, however, that overt rest-activity rhythms are susceptible to various masking effects, so they may not always show the underlying rhythm of the endogenous circadian pacemaker. In conclusion, the latest set of research articles suggest that in the clinical setting, actigraphy is reliable for evaluating sleep patterns in patients with insomnia, for studying the effect of treatments designed to improve sleep, in the diagnosis of circadian rhythm disorders (including shift work), and in evaluating sleep in individuals who are less likely to tolerate PSG, such as infants and demented elderly. While actigraphy has been used in research studies for many years, up to now, methodological issues had not been systematically addressed in clinical research and practice. Those issues have now been addressed and actigraphy may now be reaching the maturity needed for application in the clinical arena.

                Author and article information

                [1 ]Indiana University School of Nursing Indianapolis, Indiana
                [2 ]Indiana University School of Medicine Indianapolis, Indiana
                [3 ]Indianapolis Department of Psychology, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Indiana
                [4 ]University of Washington School of Nursing Seattle, Washington
                Author notes
                Correspondence Julie L. Otte, 1111 Middle Drive NU W401,, Indianapolis, IN 46202., Tel: 317-274-0886;, Fax: 317-278-1856;, E-mail: jlelam@

                Funding Information This study was supported by National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health KL2RR025760. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Cancer Institute, National Center for Research Resources, or the National Institutes of Health.

                Cancer Med
                Cancer Med
                Cancer Medicine
                BlackWell Publishing Ltd (Oxford, UK )
                February 2015
                30 November 2014
                : 4
                : 2
                : 183-200
                © 2014 The Authors. Cancer Medicine published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

                This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Cancer Research

                Oncology & Radiotherapy

                symptom assessment, cancer, review, sleep, sleep disorder


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