Subjective and objective evaluation of alertness and sleep quality in depressed patients

Matousek, Milos; Cervena, Katerina; Zavesicka, Lucie; Brunovsky, Martin
January 2004
BMC Psychiatry;2004, Vol. 4, p14
Academic Journal
Background: The reliability of the subjective statements reports on disturbed night sleep and alertness in the daytime was assessed by their correlation to the objective indicators in patients with mild deprsssion. Method: Among patients with depression, altogether 28 patients with insomnia were examined. Their answers to typical questions, as they are used during a psychiatric interview, were scored. In parallel, night sleep quality and alertness level in the daytime were objectively estimated by means of polygraphic recording. Results: The subjective statements on the type of insomnia, the estimated time of falling asleep, frequent awakenings and occurrence of disturbing dreams seem to be unreliable. Similarly, the results were disappointing when the patients were asked about alertness disturbances in the daytime. An unexpected finding was the lack of any significant correlation to the scores obtained by means of Epworth's scale. Among the factors possibly influencing the patients' reports, age, sex, coffee intake and also chronic administration of sedatives or hypnotics showed a low correlation with the sleep and alertness indicators. Conclusion: The statistical evaluation indicated rather poor agreement between the subjective and objective items. The statistical evaluation suggested that anxiety and depression significantly influence reports on sleep quality and alertness disturbances in the daytime.


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