Nocturnal Sleep-Wake Parameters of Adolescents at Home Following Cancer Chemotherapy

Amy J. Walker, Kyle P. Johnson, Christine Miaskowski, Vivian Gedaly-Duff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this descriptive, longitudinal study was to describe objective nocturnal sleep-wake parameters of adolescents at home after receiving chemotherapy in the hospital or outpatient clinic and explore differences in sleep variables by age, gender, and corticosteroid use. Methods: We collected 7 days of wrist actigraphy and sleep diary data from 48 adolescents (10-19 years) who were receiving cancer chemotherapy for a primary or secondary cancer or a relapse. The actigraphic sleep variables included rest interval (i.e., time in bed), sleep onset, sleep offset, sleep duration, total sleep time (TST), wake after sleep onset (WASO), and %WASO. Results: Of the 48 adolescents, 38 had at least five nights of scored actigraphy and were included in analyses. Older (13-18 years) adolescents went to bed later and had fewer minutes of TST than younger adolescents (10-12 years). Exploratory analyses revealed no differences between adolescents who were taking oral corticosteroids (i.e., prednisone, dexamethasone) and those who were not or between males and females. Conclusion: These adolescents had sleep durations that met or exceeded the recommended sleep duration for their age groups but experienced significant WASO. Further research is needed to estimate sleep needs of adolescents during chemotherapy and determine factors that contribute to nocturnal wake-time so that targeted interventions can be designed to improve sleep quality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)236-241
Number of pages6
JournalBiological research for nursing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2012


  • adolescents
  • chemotherapy
  • sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Research and Theory


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