Sleep disruption is pervasive in people with schizophrenia, but few studies have explored their sleep experiences. This study aims to identify factors relevant to sleep problems and explore coping methods used by community-dwelling people with schizophrenia.
Eighteen participants with schizophrenia were recruited from three mental health centers in Taiwan. They completed a semi-structured interview and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) assessment. The Person-Environment-Occupation model offered a framework to assess factors related to sleep. Thematic analysis was used for the qualitative data analysis.
Factors related to sleep were classified under person, environment, and occupation domains. The person domain included three subthemes: psychiatric symptoms, unpleasant emotions, and frustration about sleep. The environment domain included three subthemes: sensory intrusions from the environment, quality of bedding, and roommates. The occupation domain included sleep interruption and sleep preparation. There were notable discrepancies in sleep quality between the participants’ narratives and their PSQI global scores. Regarding coping methods for poor sleep, sleep medication was the primary strategy while some participants also used other strategies, such as modifying the environment, adjusting routines, or engaging in activities that improve sleep quality.
Psychiatric symptoms and nightmares were identified as unique sleep disruptions in people with schizophrenia, and poor economic status was also found to impact their sleep. The sleep quality of people with schizophrenia tends to be poor, as identified by the PSQI, even though they may have positive perceptions of their sleep quality. Our participants appeared to prefer to take hypnotics to address their sleep problems, which may be due to limited knowledge about alternatives. Mental health professionals are encouraged to receive training in the application of non-pharmacological approaches to support their clients’ issues related to sleep.
Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan
Occupation, Qualitative, Schizophrenia, Sleep, The PEO model
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Yen-Ching Chang, Megan C. Chang, Yun-Jou Chang, and Ming-De Chen. "Understanding factors relevant to poor sleep and coping methods in people with schizophrenia" BMC Psychiatry (2021): 373. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-021-03384-y