Sleep disturbances are a prevalent and disabling problem for patients with cancer. Sleep disturbances are present throughout the cancer trajectory, especially during oncological treatment. Previously sleep disturbances have primarily been quantified with subjective rating scales. Actigraphy is an easy to use, non-invasive method for objective measurement of sleep. We systematically reviewed the literature for studies using actigraphy to measure sleeping habits of patients with cancer, undergoing oncological treatment. Our study furthermore reviewed studies with interventions designed to reduce sleep disturbances in the patient population. 19 studies were included in the final review of which 13 had a descriptive study design and six included some kind of intervention. The studies were primarily performed in patients with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy. We found that sleep disturbances are prevalent, and persistent in patients with cancer. The sleep disturbances seem to be aggravated by chemotherapy treatment and accumulate as the treatment continues. Sleep disturbances need further attention among clinicians working with patients with cancer.
Sleep Medicine Reviews, 2015, Vol 20, p. 73-83
Journal Article; Review; Actigraphy; Humans; Neoplasms; Sleep Wake Disorders