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Nursing Research and Practice
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 858403, 11 pages
Research Article

Minority Breast Cancer Survivors: The Association between Race/Ethnicity, Objective Sleep Disturbances, and Physical and Psychological Symptoms

1Phyllis F. Cantor Center for Research in Nursing and Patient Care Services, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Cancer Center, Boston, MA 02215, USA
2University of South Florida College of Nursing, Tampa, FL 33612, USA
3H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, Tampa, FL 33612, USA

Received 20 March 2014; Revised 26 May 2014; Accepted 9 June 2014; Published 2 July 2014

Academic Editor: Maria Helena Palucci Marziale

Copyright © 2014 Pinky H. Budhrani et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Limited research has been conducted on the moderating effect of race/ethnicity on objective sleep disturbances in breast cancer survivors (BCSs). Objective. To explore racial/ethnic differences in objective sleep disturbances among BCSs and their relationship with self-reported symptoms. Intervention/Methods. Sleep disturbance and symptoms were measured using actigraphy for 72 hours and self-reported questionnaires, respectively, among 79 BCSs. Analysis of covariance, Pearson’s correlation, and multivariate regression were used to analyze data. Results. Sixty (75.9%) participants listed their ethnicity as white, non-Hispanic and 19 (24.1%) as minority. Total sleep time was 395.9 minutes for white BCSs compared to 330.4 minutes for minority BCSs. Significant correlations were seen between sleep onset latency (SOL) and depression, SOL and fatigue, and sleep efficiency (SE) and fatigue among minority BCSs. Among white BCSs, significant correlations were seen between SE and pain and wake after sleep onset (WASO) and pain. The association between depression and SOL and fatigue and SOL appeared to be stronger in minority BCSs than white BCSs. Conclusions. Results indicate that white BCSs slept longer than minority BCSs, and race/ethnicity modified the effect of depression and fatigue on SOL, respectively. Implications for Practice. As part of survivorship care, race/ethnicity should be included as an essential component of comprehensive symptom assessments.