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Pain Research and Management
Volume 7, Issue 2, Pages 75-79
Original Article

Disrupted Sleep Patterns and Daily Functioning in Patients with Chronic Pain

Lance M McCracken1 and Grant L Iverson2

1Pain Management Unit, Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases, and the University of Bath, Bath, UK
2University of British Columbia and HeartLink Canada Inc, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Received 26 March 2001; Accepted 14 December 2001

Copyright © 2002 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


OBJECTIVE: To investigate the role of disturbed sleep in the daily functioning of persons with chronic pain.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Participants comprised 287 patients seeking treatment for chronic pain at a university pain clinic. All patients completed the measures employed in the present study as part of a comprehensive initial evaluation.

RESULTS: Descriptive analyses showed that 88.9% of patients reported as least one problem with disturbed sleep. Correlation analyses showed that greater sleep disturbance was associated with greater pain, disability, depression and physical symptoms, and less daily uptime. Hierarchical regression analyses showed that sleep disturbance predicted disability, daily uptime and physical symptoms independent of pain or depression.

CONCLUSIONS: Sleep disruption is usually considered to be a consequence of the pain experience. However, the results of the present study reinforce the view that sleep disturbance may have a bidirectional relation with other features of chronic pain. Future studies should confirm that repairing disrupted sleep leads to an improvement in patients' daily activity and a reduction in their suffering.