Sleep disturbances are common among women with breast cancer and can have serious consequences. The present study examined depression, pain, life stress, and participation in group therapy in relation to sleep disturbances in a sample of women with metastatic breast cancer.Ninety-three women with metastatic breast cancer participated in a large intervention trial examining the effect of the group therapy on their symptoms. They completed measures of depression, pain, life stress, and sleep disturbance at baseline, 4, 8 and 12 months.The results showed that higher initial levels of depression at baseline predicted problems associated with getting up in the morning, waking up during the night, and daytime sleepiness. Increases in depression over the course of 12 months were associated with fewer hours of sleep, more problems with waking up during the night and more daytime sleepiness. Higher levels of pain at baseline predicted more problems getting to sleep. Increases in pain predicted more difficulty getting to sleep and more problems waking up during the night. Greater life stress at baseline predicted more problems getting to sleep and more daytime sleepiness.Depression, pain, and life stress scores were each associated with different types of negative change in self-reported sleep disturbances. Depression, especially worsening depression, was associated with the greatest number of types of negative change. The relationships found between sleep disturbance and depression, pain, and life stress suggest specific ways to address the problem of sleep disturbance for women with metastatic breast cancer and show how different types of disturbed sleep may be clinical markers for depression, pain, or life stress in this population.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2006.11.002
View details for Web of Science ID 000245832000006
View details for PubMedID 17166646