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Keywords

chronic disease, epilepsy, sleep

 

Authors

  1. Miller, Wendy R.
  2. Otte, Julie L.
  3. Pleuger, Madona

Abstract

ABSTRACT: Background: Epilepsy is the most common chronic neurological disease in the United States, and 70% of diagnoses occur in late adolescence or adulthood. A disease of the brain, epilepsy can affect sleep. Lack of adequate or high-quality sleep can cause decrements in quality of life. Adults living with epilepsy are at especially high risk for sleep alterations, and these changes in sleep can worsen their epilepsy. The purpose of the study was to describe the perceived effect of epilepsy on sleep in adults who developed epilepsy in late adolescence or adulthood. Research questions included (a) "In adults with epilepsy, what is the perceived change in ability to sleep well because of having epilepsy?"; (b) "In adults with epilepsy, is there a significant relationship between perceived changes in ability to sleep well and perceived changes in overall life because of having epilepsy?"; and (c) "In adults with epilepsy, is there a significant relationship between perceived changes in ability to sleep well because of having epilepsy and total Life Changes in Epilepsy Scale (LCES) scores?". Methods: One hundred seventy-four adults with epilepsy were recruited. Utilizing data collected via the LCES, a quantitative descriptive/correlational design was utilized. Analyses were carried out to answer each research question. Results: The mean score for the sleep item of the LCES was 2.76 (SD = 1.31), indicating an overall negative change in ability to sleep well. There was a statistically significant, strong positive relationship between the sleep and overall life changes items of the LCES (Pearson r = .476, p < .0000) and also between the sleep item and total LCES scores (Pearson r = .620, p < .0000). Implications: Findings from this study contribute to the extant literature by revealing epilepsy-related changes in sleep as perceived by adults living with epilepsy specifically because of having epilepsy. On the basis of findings rendered from this sample, having epilepsy can lead to perceived negative changes in a person's ability to sleep well, and these negative changes are significantly correlated with negative overall life changes. Recommendations for clinical practice and research can be made based on current results.