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IIR 01-053 – HSR Study

IIR 01-053
Sleep Disturbance and Outcomes Rehabilitation in the Nursing Home
Cathy A Alessi, MD MPH
VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Sepulveda, CA
Sepulveda, CA
Funding Period: January 2002 - September 2005
Previous research has shown that sleep disturbance is common among long-stay, nonrehabilitative nursing home residents and the nursing home environment contributes to poor sleep. Moreover, nursing home residents with more impaired sleep have worse functional status. While VA and non-VA nursing homes are increasingly being used to provide rehabilitation for older veterans recovering from recent illness or injury, little research has addressed how sleep disturbance among this group of nursing home residents may influence successful rehabilitation and other important clinical outcomes.

The primary purpose of this project is to identify factors that affect sleep in rehabilitative nursing home residents, and to determine whether sleep impairment is associated with the process of their rehabilitation and important clinical outcomes.

This is a prospective, cohort study of older people admitted for post-acute rehabilitation to VA and community sites. Residents are enrolled when admitted to the facility for rehabilitation, and followed prospectively for 9 months. Data collected at baseline includes medical data and demographics, comorbidity, functional status, physical function and subjective (i.e., questionnaire) and objective (i.e., wrist actigraphy) measures of sleep. Baseline ambulatory sleep monitoring is performed, and participants are monitored for falls during their stay. Functional status and physical function measure are repeated at discharge. In addition, follow up assessments are performed at two months, six months and nine months from admission to the post-acute rehabiliation site. These follow up assessments include questionnaire and wrist actigraphy sleep measures, functional status, physical function, living location, survival status and health care utilization (i.e., emergency room visits and hospitalizations).

A total of 245 participants have been enrolled into the study from one community (n=158) and 2 VA post-acute rehabiliation units (n=87). The mean age for these participants is 81 years, 62% are male, and 80% non-Hispanic white. Average length of stay in the post-acute rehabilitation setting was 21 days, and the majority (84%) of participants were discharged to community settings. Based on wrist actigraphy (and behavioral observation data), participants slept 16.4% of daytime hours (8am to 8pm) and had a nightime percent sleep (time asleep over time monitored between 10pm and 6am) of only 52.2%. More daytime sleeping was associated with attenuated functional recovery between admission and discharge (measured by improvement in the motor component of the Functional Independence Measure (FIM); r= - .252, p<.001), and with less total functional improvement from admission to the 2-month follow-up visit (r= -.261, p=.001). When MMSE score was included in statistical models, these relationships remained statistically significant.

Results of this study may lead to a randomized controlled trial to test interventions to improve aspects of quality of care related to environmental, staff and patient factors that impact sleep.

External Links for this Project

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Journal Articles

  1. Webber AP, Martin JL, Harker JO, Josephson KR, Rubenstein LZ, Alessi CA. Depression in older patients admitted for postacute nursing home rehabilitation. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2005 Jun 1; 53(6):1017-22. [view]
  2. Alessi CA, Martin JL, Webber AP, Alam T, Littner MR, Harker JO, Josephson KR. More daytime sleeping predicts less functional recovery among older people undergoing inpatient post-acute rehabilitation. Sleep. 2008 Sep 1; 31(9):1291-300. [view]
  3. Littner M, Alessi C. Obstructive sleep apnea: asleep in our consciousness no more. Chest. 2002 Jun 1; 121(6):1729-30. [view]
  4. Kushida CA, Littner MR, Morgenthaler T, Alessi CA, Bailey D, Coleman J, Friedman L, Hirshkowitz M, Kapen S, Kramer M, Lee-Chiong T, Loube DL, Owens J, Pancer JP, Wise M. Practice parameters for the indications for polysomnography and related procedures: an update for 2005. Sleep. 2005 Apr 1; 28(4):499-521. [view]
  5. Kushida CA, Morgenthaler TI, Littner MR, Alessi CA, Bailey D, Coleman J, Friedman L, Hirshkowitz M, Kapen S, Kramer M, Lee-Chiong T, Owens J, Pancer JP. Practice parameters for the treatment of snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea with oral appliances: an update for 2005. Sleep. 2006 Feb 1; 29(2):240-3. [view]
  6. Kushida CA, Littner MR, Hirshkowitz M, Morgenthaler TI, Alessi CA, Bailey D, Boehlecke B, Brown TM, Coleman J, Friedman L, Kapen S, Kapur VK, Kramer M, Lee-Chiong T, Owens J, Pancer JP, Swick TJ, Wise MS. Practice parameters for the use of continuous and bilevel positive airway pressure devices to treat adult patients with sleep-related breathing disorders. Sleep. 2006 Mar 1; 29(3):375-80. [view]
  7. Alessi CA, Martin JL, Webber AP, Cynthia Kim E, Harker JO, Josephson KR. Randomized, controlled trial of a nonpharmacological intervention to improve abnormal sleep/wake patterns in nursing home residents. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2005 May 1; 53(5):803-10. [view]
  8. Fung CH, Martin JL, Chung C, Fiorentino L, Mitchell M, Josephson KR, Jouldjian S, Alessi C. Sleep disturbance among older adults in assisted living facilities. The American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry. 2012 Jun 1; 20(6):485-93. [view]
  9. Martin JL, Fiorentino L, Jouldjian S, Josephson KR, Alessi CA. Sleep quality in residents of assisted living facilities: effect on quality of life, functional status, and depression. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2010 May 1; 58(5):829-36. [view]
  10. Ancoli-Israel S, Cole R, Alessi C, Chambers M, Moorcroft W, Pollak CP. The role of actigraphy in the study of sleep and circadian rhythms. Sleep. 2003 May 1; 26(3):342-92. [view]
Book Chapters

  1. Alessi C. Patient Education Forum: Sleep Problems. In: Ingham PW, editor. American Geriatrics Society Newsletter. 2002. [view]

DRA: Aging, Older Veterans' Health and Care, Health Systems
DRE: none
Keywords: Long-term care, Patient outcomes, Sleep disorders
MeSH Terms: none

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