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Encephale. 2010 Apr;36(2):159-65. doi: 10.1016/j.encep.2009.06.010. Epub 2009 Sep 23.

[Sleep disturbances in home caregivers of persons with dementia].

[Article in French]

Author information

1
Centre mémoire de ressources et de recherche, service hospitalo-universitaire de psychogériatrie, Limoges, France. philippe.thomas@ch-esquirol-limoges.fr

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Estimates suggest that there are more than 700,000 adult caregivers of persons with dementia in this country, a large number of whom experience some form of sleep disturbance during the course of their caregiving career. Health care professionals are in the best position to detect and address this significant public health problem.

OBJECTIVES:

Prospective study of sleep with the main caregivers providing home-care for demented patients.

METHODS:

This study was performed on elderly persons living at home. Two populations were concerned. The control group concerned 86 old persons living in the area of Limoges (France) and was contacted to join by the senior clubs of this city. The other group concerned caregivers to persons with dementia, living with them at home, and the assessments were done during the patient assessment. Each group had a cognitive evaluation by a Folstein's test and answered a questionnaire to describe their possible sleep difficulties.

RESULTS:

Sixty-eight caregivers face sleep disturbance versus 25 non-caregiver controls. Caregiver sleep-problems are often linked to sleep disturbances in the care-recipient. Night-time awakenings by persons with dementia are a common precipitating cause of sleep/wake disturbances in vulnerable caregivers. Caregivers awake 2.3 times during the night versus 1.2 for control persons. Caregivers awake earlier (around 6:20) than non-caregivers (around 7:05) and their sleep time is shorter by one hour. Caregivers are more often depressed (28 in 98 versus 13 in 86) and have more often high blood pressure (56 in 98 versus 24 in 86). They received more medications and used more often self-medication.

DISCUSSION:

Three major contributors to caregiver sleep-disturbance are pointed in this paper: the apparition of caregiver disrupted sleep routines, caregiver burden and depression and the caregiver's physical health status. Successful treatment of a caregiver's sleep disturbance requires careful consideration of each of these contributors. Non-pharmacological options are generally recommended as a first line of treatment for managing sleep disturbances in older adults, including caregivers of persons with dementia.

PMID:
20434634
DOI:
10.1016/j.encep.2009.06.010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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