THE 1998 CLINICAL RESEARCH AWARD Sleep Disturbance After Burn Injury: A Frequent Yet Understudied Complication

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This study investigated the frequency of sleep disturbance of burn survivors at 3 time points: during hospitalization (time 1: n = 237), 1 week after discharge (time 2: n = 149), and 2 months after discharge (time 3: n = 91). Predictors of sleep disturbance and its relationship to quality of life are explored. Measures of sleep, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, pain, and quality of life were administered at each time point. Fifty percent of participants had sleep disturbance while in the hospital and 1 week after discharge. Forty percent of participants continued to have sleep disturbance 2 months after discharge. In regression equations, emotional distress was a better predictor of sleep disturbance than pain and total body surface area burned at each time point. Sleep disturbance was significantly negatively correlated with all aspects of quality of life represented on the SF-36 Health Survey. Sleep disturbance is a common and often chronic postburn complication that warrants further research. (J Burn Care Rehabil 1998;19:480–86)

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