The experience of sleep in chronic fatigue syndrome: A qualitative interview study with patients

Gotts, Zoe, Newton, Julia, Ellis, Jason and Deary, Vincent (2015) The experience of sleep in chronic fatigue syndrome: A qualitative interview study with patients. British Journal of Health Psychology, 21 (1). pp. 71-92. ISSN 1359-107X

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjhp.12136

Abstract

Objectives
Sleep disturbances are common in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and one of the key symptom complaints, yet it has been neglected by previous qualitative research. The aim was to explore the specific role of sleep in patients' experience of their illness.

Design
A qualitative semi-structured interview format facilitated a detailed and open exploration of sleep, and the extent to which its management and problems were linked to the lived experience of CFS.

Methods
Eleven semi-structured interviews were conducted with individuals with CFS. Data were transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically, to explore and describe patients' experience of their sleep, and its impact on their condition.

Results
Sleep emerged as a key aspect of the illness experience, and its management and effect on daytime functioning was a central pre-occupation for all 11 participants; all of them saw sleep as playing a critical role in their illness through either maintaining or exacerbating existing symptoms. Exploration of individual experiences presented three overarching themes: (1) sleep pattern variability over illness course and from day to day; (2) effect of sleep on daytime functioning; and (3) attempts at coping and sleep management.

Conclusions
Each patient with CFS has a unique experience of sleep. Despite the differing narratives regarding the role of sleep in CFS, all participants held the belief that sleep is a vital process for health and well-being which has had a direct bearing on the course and progression of their CFS. Also, every participant regarded their sleep as in some way ‘broken' and in need of management/repair. Patients' insights demonstrate sleep-specific influences on their CFS, and the impact of disturbed sleep should be a consideration for clinical and research work.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Published online before print 26/02/15. No funder project details provided.
Uncontrolled Keywords: chronic fatigue syndrome, daytime functioning, qualitative research, sleep
Subjects: B900 Others in Subjects allied to Medicine
C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > School of Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2015 10:36
Last Modified: 27 Jan 2016 11:53
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/21965

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics


Policies: NRL Policies | NRL University Deposit Policy | NRL Deposit Licence