Poster Title

Sleep Quality in Female Caregivers of Children with Special Healthcare Needs

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Institution

University of Louisville

KY House District #

36

KY Senate District #

14

Department

Nursing

Abstract

Due to role strain, caregivers often report depressive symptoms and emotional stress which can negatively impact their health. The purpose of this study was to determine if levels of depressive symptoms, negative thinking, and chronic stressors were inversely related to sleep quality in female caregivers of children with special healthcare needs. Data for this cross-sectional study were collected from 44 female caregivers. The women were recruited at clinics for children with special healthcare needs; all had a high level of depressive symptoms as measured by Center for Epidemiologic Studies – Depression Scale scores > 16. In-person interviews were conducted using the Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), the Everyday Stressors Index, and the Automatic Thoughts Questionnaire. Correlational analysis was used to evaluate interrelationships among the variables. Eighty-two percent of the caregivers had poor overall sleep quality (PSQI total score >5). Caregivers’ total PSQI score was not associated with higher depressive symptoms, negative thinking, and chronic stressors. However, higher levels of chronic stressors (r = .41, p = .01) and more negative thinking (r = .30, p = .05) were associated with greater sleep disturbance. Higher levels of daytime dysfunction due to sleepiness was correlated with higher levels of chronic stressors (r = .40, p = .01) and negative thinking (r = .47, p = .001). The higher the depressive symptoms, the longer the caregivers’ sleep duration (r = .41, p = .01). Interventions that focus on ways to decrease levels of chronic stressors and negative thinking in caregivers of children with special healthcare needs may reduce their sleep disturbance and daytime dysfunction due to sleepiness. In turn, this may decrease caregivers’ level of depressive symptoms.

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Sleep Quality in Female Caregivers of Children with Special Healthcare Needs

Due to role strain, caregivers often report depressive symptoms and emotional stress which can negatively impact their health. The purpose of this study was to determine if levels of depressive symptoms, negative thinking, and chronic stressors were inversely related to sleep quality in female caregivers of children with special healthcare needs. Data for this cross-sectional study were collected from 44 female caregivers. The women were recruited at clinics for children with special healthcare needs; all had a high level of depressive symptoms as measured by Center for Epidemiologic Studies – Depression Scale scores > 16. In-person interviews were conducted using the Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), the Everyday Stressors Index, and the Automatic Thoughts Questionnaire. Correlational analysis was used to evaluate interrelationships among the variables. Eighty-two percent of the caregivers had poor overall sleep quality (PSQI total score >5). Caregivers’ total PSQI score was not associated with higher depressive symptoms, negative thinking, and chronic stressors. However, higher levels of chronic stressors (r = .41, p = .01) and more negative thinking (r = .30, p = .05) were associated with greater sleep disturbance. Higher levels of daytime dysfunction due to sleepiness was correlated with higher levels of chronic stressors (r = .40, p = .01) and negative thinking (r = .47, p = .001). The higher the depressive symptoms, the longer the caregivers’ sleep duration (r = .41, p = .01). Interventions that focus on ways to decrease levels of chronic stressors and negative thinking in caregivers of children with special healthcare needs may reduce their sleep disturbance and daytime dysfunction due to sleepiness. In turn, this may decrease caregivers’ level of depressive symptoms.