Asian Oncol Nurs.  2016 Mar;16(1):30-37. 10.5388/aon.2016.16.1.30.

Factors Affecting Sleep Quality in Women with Cancer Undergoing Radiotherapy

  • 1Department of Nursing, Keimyung University Dongsan Medical Center, Daegu, Korea.
  • 2College of Nursing, Keimyung University, Daegu, Korea.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the severity of subjective sleep quality and factors related to sleep disturbances in breast and gynecologic cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy.
Ninety four women (68 breast cancer and 26 gynecologic cancer) undergoing radiotherapy were recruited and asked to complete the Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), Piper Fatigue Scale, and Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale. The data were analyzed using χ2-test, t-test, ANOVA and logistic regression.
The average global PSQI score was 8.34±4.41 and 70.2% of the patients reported poor sleep quality (PSQI>5). There were significant differences between the poor sleepers and the good sleepers in concurrent chemo-radiotherapy (p=.022), number of radiation treatments (p=.013), total amount of radiation dosage (p=.048), sleeping pills (p=.030), fatigue (p<.001), anxiety (p<.001), and depression (p=.024). Logistic regression showed that significant predictors for poor sleep quality were fatigue and concurrent chemo-radiotherapy.
These findings suggest that sleep disturbance was a significant health problem in patients with breast and gynecologic cancer who were receiving radiotherapy. Also that fatigue and concurrent chemo-radiotherapy were highly associated with sleep disturbance. However, limited evidence was found for the role of radiotherapy in the sleep disturbance of these patients.


Radiotherapy; Sleep Disturbance; Fatigue; Anxiety; Depression

MeSH Terms

Breast Neoplasms
Logistic Models
Radiation Dosage


  • Fig. 1 Mean scores of the PSQI components. Higher scores indicate greater sleep disturbance (PSQI=Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index).

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