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J Community Health Nurs. 1997;14(3):181-8.

Insomnia, alcohol, and over-the-counter drug use in old-old urban women.

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  • 1Orvis School of Nursing, University of Nevada, Reno 89557, USA.


Insomnia is a common complaint of older adults. Historically, alcohol and over-the-counter (OTC) medications have been used as sedatives. Yet, there is a lack of information regarding the use of these substances by old-old urban women. A volunteer sample of 155 urban women over the age of 85 participated in a two-part structured interview to obtain data related to their health, sleep patterns, use of alcohol and OTC medication to improve sleep, awareness of hazards associated with use of these substances, and reason for seeking health care for insomnia. Findings indicate that all of the women had health problems and difficulty in sleeping. The majority used alcohol, OTC medication, or both on a regular basis in an effort to improve their sleep. Nurses who work with very old women need to assess clients' use of these substances and the side effects associated with them.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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