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J Child Neurol. 2013 May;28(5):589-95. doi: 10.1177/0883073812449692. Epub 2012 Jul 12.

Provider practices impact adequate diagnosis of sleep disorders in children with epilepsy.

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  • 1Division of Neurology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA.


Sleep disorders significantly affect the lives of children with epilepsy. Limited data exist about provider practices concerning detection and correct diagnosis of sleep problems in epilepsy. The authors conducted this study to identify and correlate sleep screening methods, referral practices, referral reasons and final sleep diagnoses. They identified that 94% of the providers who had referred patients to the sleep center of a major children's hospital used routine screening and 70% of them used 2 to 3 screening questions. This method, however, underidentified the patients at risk for sleep disorders. Moreover, in 40% of the children, sleep disorder was incorrectly anticipated, based on the initial symptoms. Of these children, 10% had no sleep disorder and 30% had unexpected sleep disorder. The authors conclude that better screening methods should be used for sleep disorders. Once identified, these patients should have formal sleep evaluation and management. Further studies are needed to develop screening questionnaires.

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