Sleep Quality and Depression in Men With Prostate Cancer
Posted: Tuesday, June 1, 2021
Patients with prostate cancer commonly have sleeping difficulties, especially falling asleep, due to diagnosis or treatment, and these issues are associated with depression and a decreased ability to think clearly. Christopher F. Sharpley, PhD, of the University of New England in New South Wales, Australia, and colleagues published their data in the American Journal of Men’s Health, suggesting that sleep difficulties may affect men with prostate cancer and their ability to understand their treatment options thoroughly.
“These results provide further evidence that [diagnosis of and treatment for prostate cancer] is stressful for these men, and that deterioration in sleeping quality is relatively widespread among them,” concluded the authors.
Researchers surveyed 96 patients with prostate cancer from treatment centers in South East Queensland, Australia. Patients were asked about the frequency of 20 different depressive symptoms during the past 2 weeks using the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale. The Insomnia Severity Index was also employed to learn about respondents' sleep patterns, including the difficulty of sleep onset, early-morning awakenings, interference of sleep difficulties with daytime functioning, and distress caused by sleep difficulties. Patients filled out each of these surveys twice: one reflecting how they felt during the previous 2 weeks and another reflecting how they felt before their diagnosis.
Approximately 61% of patients reported a deterioration in sleep quality from before their diagnosis to the time of the survey, whereas 27% reported no change in their sleep habits and patterns. This decrease in sleep quality was significantly associated with cognitive depression (P = .007). Men reported that it was not as easy to do the things they used to do on average, and they did not find it easy to make decisions. When looking at specific symptoms measured on the surveys, “having a clear mind” contributed significantly to the variance in “difficulty falling asleep” (P = .003). Of note, there appeared to be no significant correlation between change in sleep quality or depression scores and the time since diagnosis, cancer status, marital status, or treatments.
Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.