Relationship between sleep problems and psychological outcomes in adolescent and young adult cancer survivors and controls

Lauren Daniel, Anne E. Kazak, Yimei Li, Wendy Hobbie, Jill Ginsberg, Eliana Butler, Lisa Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Purpose: How cancer history and distress relate to sleep outcomes of adolescents and young adults (AYAs) is unclear. The current study compares AYA cancer survivors to controls on indicators of sleep and fatigue; examines the concurrent association between psychological status, sleep, and fatigue; and investigates the lagged relationship between sleep and fatigue problems with psychological functioning. Methods: AYA cancer survivors (n = 167) and controls (n = 170), ages 16 to 30, completed measures at a survivorship clinic/primary care visit (time 1) and 2 months later (time 2). Participants completed questions about sleep quality, quantity, sleep medication use, self-reports of sleep problems, and fatigue in addition to measures of depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS). Results: There were no differences in sleep quantity or quality between survivors and controls, but survivors reported significantly more fatigue. Within groups, AYAs with self-reported sleep and fatigue problems reported significantly higher depression, anxiety, and PTS symptoms. Controlling for baseline depression, sleep, and fatigue problems at time 1 significantly predicted depression at time 2 in survivors but not in controls. Conclusion: This study offers important insight into the psychological functioning of childhood cancer survivors and prospectively describes sleep and fatigue as risk factors for poor psychological functioning in survivors. These findings support screening for sleep problems in AYA survivors as these difficulties are closely related to mental health functioning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)539-546
Number of pages8
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology


  • AYA
  • Cancer
  • Fatigue
  • Psychosocial
  • Sleep


Dive into the research topics of 'Relationship between sleep problems and psychological outcomes in adolescent and young adult cancer survivors and controls'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this