University of Washington

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine

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Relationship between Sleep Disturbance and Functional Outcomes in Daily Life Habits of Children with Down Syndrome


Churchill SS, Kieckhefer GM, Bjornson KF, Herting JR



Publication Info:

Sleep, 38(1):61-71


OBJECTIVES: The goal of this study was to describe sleep patterns and accomplishment of daily life habits in children with Down syndrome (DS) and to investigate the relationship between subjective indicators of sleep disturbance with functional outcomes in daily life.
DESIGN: Cross-sectional study with an Internet sample
SETTING: Online survey filled out at home
PARTICIPANTS: 110 parents of children with DS and 29 parents of children with typical development (TD), age 5 to 18 years.
MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS: Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire was employed to collect information about sleep disturbances in 8 domains (subscales) and a total score. The Life Habits questionnaire (Life-H) sampled information about daily life habits in 11 domains. Multivariable regression modeling was used to assess the associations between sleep disturbances and the accomplishment of daily life habits. Sleep disordered breathing (SDB) was a significant explanatory factor in 10 of 11 daily life habits and the total Life-H score. Sleep anxiety and parasomnias significantly influenced the accomplishment of life habits in children with DS as compared to children with typical development. When evaluated in multivariable models in conjunction with the other 7 domains of sleep disturbances, SDB was the most dominant explanatory factor for accomplishment of life habits.
CONCLUSIONS: Sleep disturbances are negatively related to accomplishment of daily life functions. Prevention and treatment of sleep problems, particularly sleep disordered breathing, in children with Down syndrome may lead to enhanced accomplishment of daily life habits and activities.

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