Sleep for Mothers and Their Children with Developmental Disabilities: A Actigraphy and Videosomnography Feasibility Study
30 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2022
Purpose: Mothers of school-aged children with developmental disabilities (DDs) commonly report sleep problems in their children associated with impaired maternal sleep. However, existing research relies heavily on mothers’ self-reported sleep. This study aimed to determine the feasibility of objectively measuring child and mother sleep-wake patterns using actigraphy and videosomnography.
Design and Methods: This was an observational feasibility study. Mothers wore actigraphy watches and video-recorded their child's sleep for 7 nights. Mothers also completed a sleep diary and questionnaires on sleep quality, depressive symptoms, stress, and child sleep problems.
Results: Ten mothers and ten children with DDs completed this study. Half of the children were boys with autism spectrum disorders. Successful recruitment was obtained for 77% of families. Eight mothers successfully wore the actigraphy, and nine successfully video recorded their child's sleep. Mothers rated their participation positively and considered the data collection protocol acceptable. While mothers' actigraphy-derived sleep patterns were mostly within recommendations, self-reported sleep quality was poor. Video-derived child’s sleep estimates and mothers’ reports of their child’s sleep problems were similar to most children presenting problematic sleep patterns across both assessments. Consistent with this pattern, mothers also endorsed elevated stress and depression.
Conclusions: The use of actigraphy and videosomnography is feasible. Practice Implications: Mothers’ sleep quality can be improved by improving sleep timing and minimizing awakenings at night. With this multi-methods approach, future studies can assess sleep in a more holistic and contextually sensitive manner to work toward intervention that can improve family sleep and reduce mothers stress and depression.
Note: Funding Information: This research was supported by Lewis College Intramural Grant at Georgia State University.
Declaration of Interests: Findings from this study were presented as a poster presentation at the 2022 SLEEP, the 36th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Ethics Approval Statement: We obtained Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval before recruitment and obtained written informed consent from all mothers and verbal or written assent from all children with DDs. This study was approved through Georgia State University IRB (#H20464) under Jiwon Lee (Principal Investigator).
Keywords: feasibility, sleep, actigraphy, videosomnography, developmental disabilities
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