Patient and caregiver perspectives on sleep in dialysis

Iresha De Silva, Nicole Evangelidis, Camilla S. Hanson, Karine Manera, Chandana Guha, Nicole Scholes-Robertson, Jonathan C. Craig, David Johnson, Yeoungiee Cho, Andrea K. Viecelli, Allison Tong, for the SONG-HD, SONG-PD initiative

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Sleep disturbances are common among patients receiving dialysis and are associated with an increased risk of mortality and morbidity, and impaired quality of life. Despite being highly prioritised by patients, sleep problems remain under-diagnosed and inadequately managed. The aim of the present study was to describe the perspectives of patients receiving dialysis and their caregivers on sleep. We extracted qualitative data on sleep from 26 focus groups, two international Delphi surveys, and two consensus workshops involving 644 patients and caregivers from 86 countries as part of the Standardised Outcomes in Nephrology-Haemodialysis and -Peritoneal Dialysis (SONG-HD/SONG-PD) initiatives. The responses were from patients aged ≥18 years receiving haemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis, and their caregivers. We analysed the data using thematic analysis with five themes identified: constraining daily living (with subthemes of: battling intrusive tiredness, exacerbating debilitating conditions, broken and incapacitated); roadblocks in relationships (unable to meet family needs, antipathy due to misunderstanding, wreaking emotional havoc); burden on caregivers (stress on support persons, remaining alert to help); losing enjoyment (limiting social contact, disempowerment in life); and undermining mental resilience (aggravating low mood, diminishing coping skills, reducing functional ability). Sleep disturbances are exhausting for patients on dialysis and pervade all aspects of their lives including the ability to do daily tasks, and maintaining relationships, mental and emotional well-being. Better assessment and management of sleep problems in dialysis is needed, which may lead to improvements in overall health and quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13221
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Sleep Research
Issue number4
Early online date25 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • fatigue
  • kidney disease
  • patient perspective
  • patient-centred care
  • patient-centred outcome
  • symptoms


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