Gender differences in sleep, fatigue, and daytime activity in a pediatric oncology sample receiving dexamethasone

Stacy D. Sanford*, James O. Okuma, Jianmin Pan, Deo Kumar Srivastava, Nancy West, Pamela S. Hinds

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To examine gender differences in sleep, fatigue, and daytime activity in a sample of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Methods: Participants included 88 children in maintenance treatment for ALL (34 girls; 54 boys). Participants wore an actigraph for 10 consecutive days (5 days pre-dexamethasone and 5 days during dexamethasone administration). Fatigue instruments were also administered. Results: Girls napped more and had less fragmented night sleep than boys did. Wake time after sleep onset was sensitive to dexamethasone administration, revealing a differential direction of response for girls and boys. No gender differences were observed for subjective fatigue or daytime activity in the total sample. Conclusions: Our preliminary findings support gender differences in the sleep of children with cancer after controlling for differences in age, treatment, and risk group. Future research that focuses on the etiology of gender differences and developing interventions will help clarify the clinical application of our findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)298-306
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of pediatric psychology
Volume33
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2008

Keywords

  • Actigraphy
  • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • Dexamethasone
  • Fatigue
  • Gender differences
  • Pediatric oncology
  • Sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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