Background Restorative sleep has an important role in maintaining health with disrupted or lower levels of sleep being related to serious outcomes such as increased risk of morbidities and reduced levels of physical activity. Sleep disturbances and poor sleep quality are prevalent complaints in people with Inflammatory Arthritis. Poor sleep quality and disturbances may exacerbate pain in this population, which may further lead to reduced levels of physical activity. Due to a dearth of information in this area, establishing same among Irish People with Inflammatory Arthritis is important.
Objectives To investigate sleep quality, sleep disturbances and physical activity among Irish people who have Inflammatory Arthritis
Methods Members from Arthritis Ireland were invited to participate in a cross-sectional survey hosted on SurveyMonkey(R)TM. Ethics approval was received through the University of Limerick. Descriptive statistics, Chi-square tests/Fisher's exact tests were used to analyse the data using SPSS v22.
Results Ninety (90) people with Inflammatory Arthritis responded and report an average of 5.7 (SD 1.46) hours sleep per night. Results found 77% of respondents were female, with a mean number of years with inflammatory arthritis to be 10.09 (SD 9.92). Over half had a third level qualification (54%), while a third (33%) were in full-time employment. A majority (61%) report their sleep quality as fairly bad/very bad, with 31% having taken medications at least once a week to help their sleep, over the previous month. Ninety three percent (93%) reported arthritis pain in the previous week, while 23% were limited a lot and 62% limited a little with moderate activities. A large majority report “pain” (95%), “waking up in the middle of the night or early morning” (97%) and “cannot get to sleep within 30 minutes” (91%), as sleep disturbances. There was a statistically significant association between longer years with symptoms (p=0.004), taking medication at least once a week (p=0.009) and limited in their activities (p=0.004), when rating their sleep quality as bad. When using the SQUASH questionnaire, patients' physical activity levels were a low 1,210 minutes per week, compared to other physical activity surveys from their healthy counterparts, even-though 72% believe it is important to measure physical activity.
Conclusions Irish people with Inflammatory Arthritis fall far below the “sleep needs spectrum” with those having symptoms longer, taking medications regularly and having limitations with their activities, reporting poorer sleep quality. More research is needed with regards to investigating poor sleep quality and disturbances in order to promote health and well-being in people with Inflammatory Arthritis. In addition the effects of physical activity interventions on poor sleep needs to be examined to show if it is a positive non-pharmacological treatment approach for the management of poor sleep in patients with Inflammatory arthritis.
Disclosure of Interest None declared