Sleep Problems, Anxiety, and Global Self-Rated Health Among Hospice Family Caregivers

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Background:Although research has linked sleep problems, anxiety, and poor health outcomes among patients’ family members in nonhospice settings, little is known about these often interrelated issues among hospice family caregivers.Objectives:We sought to examine the relationships between sleep problems, anxiety, and global self-rated health among hospice family caregivers.Methods, Setting, and Patients:We conducted a secondary analysis of quantitative data from 395 family caregivers of hospice patients in the Midwest and Southeastern United States.Results:Nearly one-third of the hospice family caregivers who participated in this study experienced clinically noteworthy levels of sleep problems and/or anxiety. Caregivers’ symptoms of anxiety and sleep problems were strongly correlated. Caregivers who reported more frequent sleep problems and higher levels of anxiety reported poorer overall health.Conclusion:Hospice providers, who are charged with attending to the needs of both patients and their family caregivers, may improve their practice by regularly assessing for sleep problems and anxiety among family caregivers and providing appropriate interventions or referrals.

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