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You are a community paediatric registrar carrying out an outreach community clinic. You see a 12-year-old child who has difficulty settling down to sleep. You give his mother the usual sleep hygiene advice and discuss the importance of a good routine including having a period of ‘quiet time before lights out’. He currently plays computer games in his room before turning off the light. As part of your discussion you suggest that he stops playing computer games before bed. His mother, who is a staff nurse, asks what evidence there is to support this advice. You decide to examine the evidence.
Structured clinical question
In a child of any age [subject], does computer game playing before bed [intervention] adversely affect sleep [outcome]?
Search strategy and outcome
PubMed was searched using the terms ‘children’ [MeSH] AND ‘sleep’ [MeSH] AND ‘computer games’ [MeSH]. Twelve articles were found of which all the abstracts were read. Only two articles were …