A Pilot Study to Assess a Teaching Intervention to Improve Sleep–Wake Disturbances in Parents of Children Diagnosed With Epilepsy

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Aims: The aim of this study was to assess the impact of screening and teaching interventions for sleep–wake disturbances in parents of childhood patients with epilepsy. Methods: This was a prospective, descriptive study using convenience sampling. After informed consent was obtained from eligible parents who agreed to participate, study questionnaires were administered. All parents were provided with an individualized teaching intervention. Study tools were readministered 8–12 weeks later to evaluate if the individualized teaching intervention altered or improved sleep–wake disturbances. Results: The t value for the paired t test of the Epworth Sleepiness Scale prescore and postscore was 0.000 with a two-tailed probability value of 1.000, and the t value for the paired t test of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index prescore and postscore was 0.713 with a two-tailed probability value of .492, indicating no significant difference between pre and post Epworth Sleepiness Scale or Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index scores. Conclusions: A sleep hygiene teaching intervention for parents of children with epilepsy was not effective in this setting of an inner-city epilepsy monitoring unit in changing postintervention scores on measures of both nighttime sleep quality and daytime sleepiness. These results must be interpreted with caution secondary to the small number included in the initial phase of this study. A larger number of participants will be needed to verify these findings. If the results remain consistent with a larger number, studies evaluating variables of cause may be helpful to determine more effective interventions.

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