Project Details


Clinical experience suggests that cancer as well as cancer treatments and associated symptoms result in sleep disturbances. Sleep disturbances can lead to impairment of daily functioning and quality of life. Depression and fatigue are most commonly co-occurred with sleep disturbances and form a symptom cluster in cancer patients. Despite the fact that there has been some amount of quantitative research on sleep disturbance in cancer patients, the subjective experience of sleep disturbance in cancer patients has not been studied and documented. Information on the subjective experience of sleep disturbance in cancer patients will help with verifying the instrument measuring sleep quality in cancer patients in future research. It is important to have a valid and brief instrument of assessing sleep disturbance when we examine the effect of an intervention on sleep quality, especially in cancer patients, who are usually with limited energy. Athens Insomnia Scale is a simple and brief instrument, which has a great potential to be used in cancer patients for measuring sleep disturbance. Light plays a primary role in circadian physiology and promoting sleep. Humans are diurnal animals and their biological clock synchronizes their physiological functions such that those associated with activity happen in the daytime while those associated with rest occur at night. Light is the main environmental cue used by the circadian clock to achieve this synchronization with the day-night cycle. It has been suggested that bright light therapy can be a potential strategy to manage sleep disturbance. It has been shown the bright light therapy is effective in improving sleep quality in a very small sample of elders. There has been no study examining the effect of bright light therapy on sleep disturbance in cancer patients. The purposes of this 3-year proposal are to (a) explore the subjective experience of sleep disturbance in cancer patients, (b) validate the Taiwanese version of the Athens Insomnia Scale, (c) explore the relationships among light exposure, circadian rhythms, and sleep quality, and (d) investigate the effect of bright light therapy on improving sleep disturbance, its related symptom cluster, and quality of life. Results from this study will have a great potential to develop effective nursing interventions to improve sleep quality and quality of life in cancer patients.
Effective start/end date8/1/117/31/12


  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Light Exposure
  • Sleep


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