Nurses' management of adolescent sleep disturbance: A qualitative study

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Journal of Clinical Nursing, 2010, 19 (3-4), pp. 324 - 331
Issue Date:
2010-01-25
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Aims and objectives. To evaluate nurses' knowledge of adolescent sleep and sleep disturbance and the strategies they employ to facilitate sleep in adolescent patients. Background. Sleep disturbance in adolescents is common and associated with potentially devastating outcomes and co-morbidities. Despite this, little literature exists that reports nursing interventions related to facilitating sleep, and no literature could be located that explored what Australian nurses know about adolescent sleep and sleep disturbance. Design. Qualitative. Method. Eight nurses routinely involved in the care of adolescent patients were interviewed via email and instant messaging over a five month period. Explored was the formation and extent of knowledge held by these nurses about adolescent sleep and sleep disturbance and the strategies they used to facilitate sleep in adolescent patients. Data were analysed thematically. Results. Three main themes were identified: 'A patchwork of experiences', 'Traditional remedies, personal beliefs and commonsense' and 'Drugs, doctors and disempowerment'. Conclusions. Despite a lack of formal education about adolescent sleep and sleep disturbance, through life and professional experience the nurses in this study had formulated effective strategies to assist the sleep of adolescent patients. Relevance to clinical practice. There is a need for nursing education regarding adolescent sleep issues. Providing rationales for nursing strategies would afford nurses greater confidence to strongly advocate for a more non-pharmacological approach to managing certain types of sleep disturbance. Initiating routine assessment of adolescent sleep in both hospital and community settings could be beneficial to detecting a range of difficulties adolescent patients may be experiencing. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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