Purpose/Objectives: To examine the relationship of sleep disturbance and symptom severity, symptom interference, and hospitalization among inpatients with cancer.
Design: A descriptive, correlational, comparative design.
Setting: The oncology inpatient unit of a teaching hospital.
Sample: A convenience sample of 82 hospitalized patients.
Methods: Patients completed the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI)-Home questionnaire, the MD Anderson Symptom Inventory (MDASI), and a demographic data information instrument within 72 hours of admission. Patients hospitalized for 10 days or more completed the PSQI-Hospitalization questionnaire and the MDASI.
Main Research Variables: Sleep disturbance, symptom severity, symptom interference, and hospitalization.
Findings: Although sleep disturbance scores were high at home and during hospitalization, the use of sleeping medication received the lowest score in the PSQI. Patients who were hospitalized for 10 days or more had significantly higher global PSQI scores at home than after being hospitalized for 10 days or more. A significant relationship was noted between global PSQI scores at home and symptom severity total mean scores, with the symptoms of numbness and tingling demonstrating the greatest correlation with sleep disturbance. A tendency existed for a significant relationship between global PSQI scores at hospital and symptom severity total mean scores. The symptom with the greatest correlation with global PSQI scores at hospital was sadness, followed closely by remembering. The interference items with the greatest correlation to global PSQI scores at hospital were patient's enjoyment of life, mood, and relations with others.
Conclusions: Sleep disturbance was less of a problem for patients during their hospitalization than at home. Unlike other studies, numbness was found to be the symptom most closely correlated to sleep disturbance.
Implications for Nursing: Additional investigation should be conducted to identify the factors that influence sleep disturbances in patients with cancer at home and the relationship between sleep disturbance and numbness and tingling.