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Effects of a standardized pamphlet on insomnia in children with autism spectrum disorders.

TitleEffects of a standardized pamphlet on insomnia in children with autism spectrum disorders.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsAdkins, KW, Molloy, CA, Weiss, SK, Reynolds, AM, Goldman, SE, Burnette, C, Clemons, TE, Fawkes, DB, Malow, BA
JournalPediatrics
Volume130
PaginationS139-44
Date PublishedNov
KeywordsAIM, airp, Child, Child Development Disorders, Female, Humans, IM, Male, Pamphlets, Patient Education as Topic, Pervasive/co [Complications], Preschool, Sleep, Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders/et [Etiology], Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders/th [Therapy]
Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Sleep difficulties are common reasons why parents seek medical intervention in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). We determined whether a pamphlet alone could be used by parents to help their child's insomnia. METHODS: Thirty-six children with ASD, ages 2 to 10 years, were enrolled. All had prolonged sleep latency confirmed by actigraphy showing a mean sleep latency of 30 minutes or more. Parents were randomly assigned to receive the sleep education pamphlet or no intervention. Children wore an actigraphy device to record baseline sleep parameters, with the primary outcome variable being change in sleep latency. Actigraphy data were collected a second time 2 weeks after the parent received the randomization assignment and analyzed by using Student's t test. Parents were also asked a series of questions to gather information about the pamphlet and its usefulness. RESULTS: Although participants randomized to the 2 arms did not differ statistically in age, gender, socioeconomic status, total Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire score, or actigraphy parameters, some differences may be large enough to affect results. Mean change in sleep-onset latency did not differ between the randomized groups (pamphlet versus no pamphlet). Parents commented that the pamphlet contained good information, but indicated that it would have been more useful to be given specific examples of how to take the information and put it into practice. CONCLUSIONS: A sleep education pamphlet did not appear to improve sleep latency in children with ASDs.

Summary

Lead Author
Karen W. Adkins

Study Aims/Objectives
To determine whether a pamphlet alone could be used by parents to help with the insomnia of their child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Methods - Sample, Procedure, Study Measures, Analysis
Thirty-six children with ASD, ages 2 to 10 years, were enrolled. All had difficulties falling asleep, which was previously confirmed using a movement monitors. Parents were randomly assigned to receive the sleep education pamphlet or no intervention. Children wore a movement monitor while they slept to track how long it took them to fall asleep, as well other measurements of sleep quality. Data was taken after the first night of the child wearing the monitor and again after two weeks. Parents were also asked a series of questions to gather information about the pamphlet and its usefulness.

Results – Main Finding(s)
Although the two groups of participants did not vary greatly in age, gender, socioeconomic status, or sleep habits, some differences may be large enough to affect results. The average change in how long it took for a child to fall asleep did not differ between the two groups (with pamphlet vs. without pamphlet). Parents commented that the pamphlet contained good information, but indicated that it would have been more useful to be given specific examples of how to take the information and put it into practice.

Conclusion – Summary Statement
A sleep education pamphlet did not appear to reduce the amount of time it took for children with ASD to fall asleep.

PubMed ID23118244