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Self-reported suboptimal sleep and receipt of sleep assessment and treatment among persons with and without a mental health condition in Australia: a cross sectional study

Metse, A.P.ORCID: 0000-0002-8641-1024, Fehily, C., Clinton-McHarg, T., Wynne, O., Lawn, S., Wiggers, J. and Bowman, J.A. (2021) Self-reported suboptimal sleep and receipt of sleep assessment and treatment among persons with and without a mental health condition in Australia: a cross sectional study. BMC Public Health, 21 (1).

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Abstract

Background

Poor sleep and poor mental health go hand in hand and, together, can have an adverse impact on physical health. Given the already disproportionate physical health inequities experienced by people with a mental health condition worldwide, the need to consider and optimise sleep has been highlighted as a means of improving both physical and mental health status.

Sleep recommendations recently developed by the United States’ National Sleep Foundation incorporate a range of sleep parameters and enable the identification of ‘suboptimal’ sleep. Among community-dwelling persons with and without a 12-month mental health condition in Australia, this study reports: [1] the prevalence of ‘suboptimal’ sleep and [2] rates of sleep assessment by a health care clinician/service and receipt of and desire for sleep treatment.

Methods

A descriptive study (N = 1265) was undertaken using self-report data derived from a cross-sectional telephone survey of Australian adults, undertaken in 2017.

Results

Fifteen per cent (n = 184) of participants identified as having a mental health condition in the past 12 months. Across most (7 of 8) sleep parameters, the prevalence of suboptimal sleep was higher among people with a mental health condition, compared to those without (all p < 0.05). The highest prevalence of suboptimal sleep for both groups was seen on measures of sleep duration (36–39% and 17–20% for people with and without a mental health condition, respectively). In terms of sleep assessment and treatment, people with a mental health condition were significantly more likely to: desire treatment (37% versus 16%), have been assessed (38% versus 12%) and have received treatment (30% versus 7%).

Conclusions

The prevalence of suboptimal sleep among persons with a mental health condition in Australia is significantly higher than those without such a condition, and rates of assessment and treatment are low for both groups, but higher for people with a mental health condition. Population health interventions, including those delivered as part of routine health care, addressing suboptimal sleep are needed.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Psychology, Counselling, Exercise Science and Chiropractic
Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd.
Copyright: © 2021 The Authors.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/60053
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