Article Text

Sleep intervention therapy in children with neurodisabilities affected by sleep disturbances: a service evaluation
  1. L Rodolico1,
  2. A Bem2
  1. 1Endocrinology, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Norwich, UK
  2. 2Paediatrics, The Children's Centre, Norwich, UK


Objectives To evaluate the impact of a sleep intervention therapy in children under twelve years with neurodisabilities affected by sleep disorders.

Methods Seventeen families were enrolled in the sleep intervention therapy programme by May 2010. Of these, four families were excluded: two children became too ill to complete the sleep intervention therapy, one family was non-English speaking and one child was over the age of twelve. Twelve questionnaires were posted of which nine were returned (eight families, nine children). Informed consent from parents and approval from the University's Faculty of Health Committee was obtained.

Results Median time from completing sleep intervention therapy to answering the questionnaire was 12.4 months. Of the nine children, five were female and four were male. Mean age at enrolment was 3.9 years (range 1.1-9.7 years). Post-intervention, eight children (88.8%) had an overall parent-reported improvement to their sleep. Six children improved in all previously affected sleep disturbance index categories. All parents reported some degree of improvement to their personal well-being.

Conclusions This is the first sleep intervention therapy in the region. The results of this evaluation suggest that sleep intervention therapy provides an effective solution to the complex and diverse sleep problems present in these children and these results are consistent with previous research. It is therefore the recommendation of this evaluation that sleep intervention therapy should be made widely available. Further research is required to explore different methods of delivering this therapy.

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