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Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2011 Jul;63(7):1006-12. doi: 10.1002/acr.20469.

Sleep disturbances and neurobehavioral functioning in children with and without juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

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  • 1University of Washington, Seattle 98195-7266, USA.



To compare sleep disturbances and neurobehavioral function in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) to age- and sex-matched control children.


Children (n = 116) ages 6-11 years with (n = 70) and without (n = 46) JIA and their parents participated. Parents completed questionnaires on sleep habits, sleep behavior, and school competence of their children; children completed computerized neurobehavioral performance tests.


Compared to control children, children with JIA had a statistically significant (P < 0.001) greater mean overall sleep disturbance score and higher scores on 6 of 8 subscales (all P < 0.03) of the Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire (CSHQ). There were no group differences on neurobehavioral performance test scores. However, regardless of group, children with an overall CSHQ score above an established cutoff for clinically significant sleep disturbances had slower mean simple reaction time (t = -2.2, P < 0.03) and mean 5-choice reaction time (t = -2.3, P < 0.02) compared to those below the cutoff score. The CHSQ overall sleep disturbance score predicted reaction time (P < 0.009) after controlling for age, intelligence quotient, medication, and group.


Children with JIA have more parent-reported sleep disturbances, but performed as well as control children on a series of standardized computer tests of neurobehavioral performance. Children with more disturbed sleep had slower reaction times.

Copyright © 2011 by the American College of Rheumatology.

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