Sleep disturbances in adult survivors of childhood brain tumors

Vikki G. Nolan, Roxanna Gapstur, Cynthia R Gross, Lauren A. DeSain, Joseph P Neglia, Amar Gajjar, James L. Klosky, Thomas E. Merchant, Marilyn Stovall, Kirsten K. Ness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Purpose The aims of this study are to compare selfreported sleep quality in adult survivors of childhood brain tumors and a population-based comparison group, to identify treatment-related factors associated with sleep disturbances, and to identify the impact of post-treatment obesity and depression on sleep scores in adult survivors of childhood brain tumors. Methods Randomly selected adult survivors of childhood brain tumors (n = 78) and age-, sex-, and zip code-matched population-group members (n = 78) completed the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and the Brief Symptom Inventory. Sleep quality and the effect of demographic, treatment, and post-treatment characteristics were evaluated with linear and logistic regression analyses. Results Brain tumor survivors were 2.7 (95 % CI, 1.1, 6.5) times more likely than the comparison group to take greater than 30 min to fall asleep. Females in both groups reported worse sleep quality and impaired daytime functioning. Among survivors, post-treatment obesity was associated with daytime dysfunction. Conclusions These results agree with previous studies associating sleep, sex, and obesity and identified longer sleep latency as being a problem among childhood brain tumor survivors. Further study identifying factors contributing to sleep latency, and its impact on quality of life among adult survivors of childhood brain tumors is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)781-789
Number of pages9
JournalQuality of Life Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This study was funded by the American Cancer Society—RSGPB-06-210-01-CPPB and by additional funding at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital provided by ALSAC, and the University of Minnesota’s Masonic Cancer Center.


  • Adult survivors
  • Childhood brain tumors
  • Sleep latency
  • Sleep quality


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