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Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2005 Sep;44(7):613-6.

Impact of childhood epilepsy on maternal sleep and socioemotional functioning.

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West Virginia University, Department of Pediatrics, Morgantown, WV 26505-9214, USA.


Examinations of parental adjustment to their children's chronic illness and parental sleep effects on their daily functioning have been conducted independently over the past 2 decades. As a result, very little is known about the association between parental sleep patterns and parental adjustment to their children's illnesses. The goal of this study was multifaceted. Little is known about the sleep patterns of parents within a stressful situation such as having a child who experiences chronic health problems; therefore, more descriptives of parents' sleep patterns needed to be identified. The second facet of this study was to examine the relationship between parental sleep problems and other measures of parental adjustment to their children's chronic illness. Findings from 50 parents of children (5 years old and younger) who had been diagnosed with epilepsy revealed that parents spent an average of 4 hours sleeping during the night; awaking at least 3 times to check on their children. Parental awakening during the night was positively related to the number of seizures reported during a typical 24-hour period and parent perception of the seizure severity. Parental nighttime awakenings were inversely associated with parents' perceptions of their own sleep quality, marital satisfaction, and maternal health. Findings from this study highlight the need for clinicians to investigate the current sleep patterns of parents whose children are receiving treatment for pediatric epilepsy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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