The relationship between child and caregiver sleep in acute lymphoblastic leukemia maintenance

Lauren C. Daniel, Colleen M. Walsh, Lisa J. Meltzer, Lamia P. Barakat, Jacqueline D. Kloss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purposes of this study are to describe sleep quality and sleep disturbance among caregivers of children in the maintenance phase of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and to examine the relationship between sleep quality, child sleep disturbance, and caregiver guilt and worry. Methods: Caregivers of 68 children with ALL, ages 3 to 12 years old, completed measures of caregiver guilt and worry, caregiver sleep quality, and child’s developmental history and sleep habits. Demographic and treatment correlates of poor caregiver sleep were examined, and caregiver guilt and worry was tested as a moderator between child and caregiver sleep. Results: More than half of caregivers (55.9%) reported clinically significant poor sleep and less than 40% were obtaining adequate sleep durations. Caregiver sleep was significantly related to child age at diagnosis, child sleep, and caregiver guilt and worry. Caregiver guilt and worry did not moderate the relationship between child sleep and caregiver sleep. Conclusions: Poor sleep is common in caregivers of children with cancer. Further research on the timing of sleep interventions and the most effective intervention targets are needed to maximize caregiver functioning during a child’s cancer treatment. Targeted interventions seeking to improve caregiver sleep should be directed towards caregivers of children diagnosed in early childhood, caregivers of children with poor sleep, and caregivers with high guilt and worry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1123-1132
Number of pages10
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology


  • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • Parental caregivers
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Sleep quality


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