Objective: To examine sleep patterns and sleep disturbances in caregivers of children with chronic illness.
Methods: Caregivers of children with atopic dermatitis (AD, n = 35), asthma (AS, n = 27), atopic dermatitis and asthma (AD + AS, n = 57), ventilator assistance (VENT, n = 61), or typically developing (HEALTHY, n = 63) completed the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, the Insomnia Severity Index, and three items examining reasons for parent sleep disruption.
Results: Compared with healthy families, caregivers of children with chronic illness reported poorer sleep quality, more symptoms of insomnia, and chronic partial sleep deprivation. VENT and AD caregivers had higher rates of sleep disruptions due to caregiving, whereas AS caregivers reported more sleep disruptions from stress about the child's health.
Conclusions: Deficient and poor-quality sleep in caregivers of children with chronic illness may have a significant impact on their health and well-being, as well as caregiving responsibilities. These data provide important information for pediatric psychologists working with these families.