BACKGROUND: Sleep disorders negatively impact adolescent and young adult childhood cancer patients' physical and psychosocial health. Early recognition improves timely treatment. We therefore studied the prevalence of subjective sleep disorders, risk factors and sleep treatment needs after completion of childhood cancer treatment.
METHODS: Childhood cancer patients (12-26 years old), ≥6 months after treatment, were invited to fill out the Holland Sleep Disorders Questionnaire, which distinguishes six sleep disorders in substantial agreement with the International Classification of Sleep Disorders, second edition (ICSD-2). They additionally indicated sleep treatment needs. Prevalence rates and needs were displayed in percentages. Logistic regression models were used for risk factors.
RESULTS: 576 patients participated (response rate 55.8%)-49.5% females, mean age 17.0 years, 44.4% hemato-oncology, 31.9% solid tumors, 23.6% neuro-oncology. Prevalence rates were: insomnia (9.6%), circadian rhythm sleep disorder (CRSD; 8.1%), restless legs syndrome (7.6%), parasomnia (3.5%), hypersomnia (3.5%) and sleep-related breathing disorders (1.8%). Female sex, comorbid health conditions and young adulthood seem to be risk factors for sleep disorders, but cancer-related factors were not. Differing per sleep disorder, 42-72% wanted help, but only 0-5.6% received sleep treatment.
CONCLUSIONS: Insomnia and CRSD were most prevalent. An unmet need for sleep treatment was reported by childhood cancer patients during follow-up. Screening for sleep disorders after cancer might improve access to treatment and patient wellbeing.