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Sleep disturbance in individuals with alcohol dependence: findings from an exploratory mixed methods study

Friday, September 18, 2015 — Poster Session IV

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
FAES Terrace


  • AT Brooks
  • M Krumlauf
  • ML Schwandt
  • VA Ramchandani
  • GR Wallen


Sleep disturbances are common among individuals who are alcohol-dependent and often associated with relapse. A mixed-methods approach was used to assess experiences with sleep throughout the process of alcohol rehabilitation and to explore associations between sleep-related beliefs, behavior, and sleep quality. Data were collected from a cohort of clinical research participants enrolled on an inpatient alcohol treatment protocol (n=33). Sleep was assessed approximately 1 week prior to discharge from the inpatient facility and again 4-6 weeks post-discharge (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index-PSQI, Epworth Sleepiness Scale-ESS, Dysfunctional Beliefs and Attitudes about Sleep-DBAS, Self-Efficacy for Sleep–SE-S, and Sleep-Related Behaviors Questionnaire-SRBQ). In addition to quantitative measures, qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants at both time points. The sample was 67% male, 45% Black/African-American, and ranged in age from 25 to 59. Average PSQI scores on day 2 of inpatient treatment, within one week of discharge from the inpatient facility, and 4 to 6 weeks post-discharge indicated disturbed sleep at all time points. Multiple linear regression modeling revealed that those whose SE-S scores increased were more likely to experience a decrease on PSQI scores pre- to post-discharge, indicating fewer sleep disturbances (β = -0.48, p < 0.05). Thematic analysis of participants’ interview transcripts yielded overarching themes of the effects of poor sleep, sleep-related beliefs, sleep environments, and sleep-related behaviors. This study demonstrates a prevalence of sleep disturbances in individuals undergoing alcohol treatment even after discharge from an inpatient treatment facility and highlights the need for behavioral sleep intervention efforts to improve outcomes.

Category: Social and Behavioral Sciences