Project: Exploring the sleep experiences and perceptions of family caregivers—specifically of children dependent on medical technology—to uncover interventions that promote better sleep.
Sleep disturbance is a common complaint among family caregivers of children who depend on medical technology (e.g. home ventilators). In a recent study we conducted using objective measurement (actigraphy), family caregivers experienced poor sleep quality and achieved inadequate sleep quantity. Caregivers also experienced high levels of sleep related problems that interfered with daytime function including: elevated depression, excessive daytime sleepiness and persistent fatigue. Our plan is to gather this information from family caregivers using interviews and focus groups for the homecare providers. We will also use surveys and other methods to find out what they think about some of the ways that sleep may be improved and how willing or likely they would be to participate in trying some of these sleep-promoting interventions. Based on this research we expect to be able to help family caregivers of children who depend on medical technology to sleep, feel and function better.
Krista Keilty, NP-Paediatrics, PhD
Centre for Innovation & Excellence in Child & Family-Centred Care
Hospital for Sick Children