Who Is Seeking Help for Sleep? A Clinical Profile of Patients in a Sleep Psychology Clinic.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Int J Behav Med (2020)


<p><b>BACKGROUND: </b>The present study outlines a clinical profile of an ecologically valid population consulting for sleep difficulties at the Sleep Psychology Clinic of the Consultation service of the School of Psychology of Université Laval .</p><p><b>METHOD: </b>Patients self-report to the sleep clinic. Following a phone screening interview, patients present to the clinic for a semi-structured clinical interview for sleep and psychopathology, which is conducted by psychologists and doctorate psychology students. A chart review of adult patients (56% female, M = 43.6 years) was conducted (between 2015 and 2018) to record diagnosed sleep, psychiatric, and medical conditions.</p><p><b>RESULTS: </b>There was a high level of comorbidity with an average of 2.85 diagnoses (any diagnosis combined) per patient (SD = 1.76), with 27% of the patients having at least four diagnoses. Reviewing specific types of disorders, 58.5% of patients presented with at least one comorbid psychiatric disorder, 27.5% with one medical comorbidity, or 39.5% with another sleep disorder alongside their primary sleep concern. Insomnia was the main sleep disorder (76%). Anxiety (77.8%) and depression (53.8%) were the predominant psychiatric disorders, while fibromyalgia (10.9%), hypertension (10.9%), and head trauma (9.1%) were the main medical conditions. Of patients with five diagnoses and more, 77.8% were taking on average 3.2 different types of medications. The number of diagnoses predicted the use of prescribed hypnotics and the use of any type of medications.</p><p><b>CONCLUSION: </b>This clinical profile emphasizes the reality of multiple morbidities, which may have implications for clinical decisions. Future research is required to evaluate transdiagnostic approaches for the sleep disorder patient with multiple morbidities.</p>

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