Prevalence and severity of sleep disturbances among patients with early breast cancer

Rami Fakih, Mahmoud Rahal, Lara Hilal, Lana Hamieh, Mohammed Dany, Simone Karam, Latifa Shehab, Nagi S. El Saghir, Arafat Tfayli, Ziad Salem, Hazem Assi, Sally Temraz, Ali Shamseddine, Deborah Mukherji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Context: Data regarding health-related quality of life in breast cancer patients in the Middle East are limited with fatigue and sleep disturbance being the most distressing symptoms reported by patients treated for early breast cancer. Aims: The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence and incidence of insomnia among patients with early-stage breast cancer patients treated with chemotherapy. Subjects and Methods: This was a prospective cohort study. We enrolled patients with stage I-III breast cancer patients treated with chemotherapy at the American University of Beirut Medical Center. At three different time points (prior to, during, and following chemotherapy), we assessed the severity of sleep disturbances using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and the Insomnia Severity Index. The Institution Review Board approved the study. Results: Fifty-two patients were recruited. There was a significant increase in sleep disturbances during chemotherapy which improved to below baseline levels on completion of therapy. Prior to chemotherapy, 36% of patients reported poor sleep versus 58% during chemotherapy. The percentage of patients reporting clinical insomnia rose from 11% pretreatment to 36% during chemotherapy reflecting a significant symptomatic burden that is poorly documented and managed in routine clinical practice. Conclusions: Patients with nonmetastatic breast cancer experience an increase in sleep disturbances during the treatment phase. Physicians should be aware of the need to routinely screen for sleep disturbance in breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-38
Number of pages4
JournalIndian Journal of Palliative Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Breast cancer
  • Insomnia Severity Index
  • Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index
  • insomnia


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