The first study to document sleep problems in women with interstitial cystitis (IC), a painful and chronic bladder condition, has revealed the vast majority of sufferers are plagued by restless nights and ongoing sleep problems.
In the May-June 2011 issue of Urologic Nursing, Dr. Alis Kotler Panzera and her Philadelphia associates found 100% of the 407 study participants reported poor sleep, caused mainly by the need to urinate or from pain associated with IC. For the women, the sleepless nights cause daytime fatigue, loss of productivity, depression and an overall drop in quality of life.
The majority of the participants were from the United States, post-menopausal and between 55 and 60 years of age. The cause of IC, which
affects 1.2 million American women, is unknown, and there is no known cure. The main symptoms are urinary frequency, urgency and pain.
In analyzing the results of the study, Panzera encourages nurses to use cognitive behavior therapy for insomnia and to educate patients about ways to improve sleep.
“Nurses should be aware that the cause of the poor sleep quality may be multi-factoral,” she writes. “Therefore, appropriate screening of
all conditions that may interfere with sleep in this population, such as chronic insomnia, depression and obstructive sleep apnea, should be performed.”
As this was the first study to describe sleep quality in women with IC, Panzera says there are many issues remaining for future investigation, including better tests and treatments.
(Research: Sleep Disruption and Interstitial Cystitis Symptoms in Women; Alis Kotler Panzera, DrNP, APN-C, RN; Judith Reishtein, PhD, RN; & Patricia Shewokis, PhD, Urologic Nursing, May-June 2011.)
Source: Society of Urologic Nurses and Associates (SUNA)