High prevalence of parent-reported sleep problems in pediatric patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia after induction therapy

Lindsay M.H. Steur, Martha A. Grootenhuis, Eus J.W. Van Someren, Natasha K.A. Van Eijkelenburg, Inge M. Van der Sluis, Natasja Dors, Cor Van den Bos, Wim J.E. Tissing, Gertjan J.L. Kaspers, Raphaële R.L. Van Litsenburg*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Objective: To assess sleep problems (prevalence and predictors) in pediatric patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) after the most intensive phase of therapy (induction). Methods: Patients (≥2 years) treated according to the Dutch ALL-11 protocol were included. Sleep was measured using parent-reports and self-reports (Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire; CSHQ) and actigraphy. Parental sleep (Medical Outcome Study Sleep Scale) and distress and parenting problems (Distress Thermometer for Parents) were assessed with questionnaires. Z-scores were calculated for total CSHQ scores using age-appropriate scores of healthy Dutch children. The prevalence of sleep problems (defined as a Z-score > 1) in patients with ALL was compared to healthy children (chi-square tests). Actigraphic sleep estimates were collected in healthy Dutch children (n = 86, 2-18 years) for comparison with patients (linear regression). Determinants of parent-reported child sleep (total CSHQ Z-score) were identified with regression models. Results: Responses were collected for 124 patients (response rate 67%), comprising 123 parent-reports, 34 self-reports, and 69 actigraphy assessments. Parents reported sleep problems in 38.0% of the patients compared to 15.2% in healthy children (P <.001). Patients reported fewer sleep problems themselves: 12.1% compared to 15.8% in healthy children (P =.33). Total time in bed (B (95% CI): 22.89 (9.55-36.22)) and total sleep time (B (95% CI):16.30 (1.40-31.19)), as derived from actigraphy, were significantly longer in patients. More parent-reported child sleep problems were predicted by parenting problems, more parental sleep problems, bedroom sharing, and child's sleep medication use (explained variance: 27.4%). Conclusions: Systematic monitoring of child and parental sleep and implementation of effective interventions may be a gateway to improve quality of survival in pediatric ALL.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere28165
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020

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