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Title: Sleep disturbance and its psychological significance in children with Down's syndrome.
Author: Stores, Rebecca.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3487 7095
Awarding Body: University of Portsmouth
Current Institution: University of Portsmouth
Date of Award: 1996
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The aims of the present research were to describe in more detail than previous investigations the occurrence and nature of sleep problems and behaviours in children with Down's syndrome compared with other learning disabled and non-learning disabled groups and to investigate the psychological associations of these sleep problems. The research has been conducted in two distinct phases. In the first phase, the prevalence and range of sleep disorders was investigated in a group of children with Down's syndrome (n=91)u sing parentalq uestionnaires.T he findings were comparedw ith a group of their nonlearning disabled brothers and sisters (n=54), a group of children from the general population (n=78) and a group of children with other forms of learning disability of various aetiologies (n=71). Questionnairesw ere sent via schools in one county of the UK. Overall, children with Down's syndrome and children with other forms of learning disability showed a significantly greater number of sleep disorders than the siblings and children from the general population. However, different patterns of sleep disorders were seen in the two groups of children with learning disabilities. The findings indicated that the sleep problems of children with Down's syndrome were predominantly physical in origin and were related to disordered breathing and possibly obstructive sleep apnoea. Various significant associations between sleep disorders and daytime behaviour problems, excessive daytime sleepiness and maternal stress were also found. The second phase consisted of a series of studies in which some of the issues from the first phase were investigated. Overnight recordings were carried out on a group of local children (n=31) including video and audio recording, oximetry and activity monitoring during sleep. Information on the children's daytime behaviour was collected from parents and teachers and a Continuous Performance Task assessment was performed on the children the next day. Study 1 assessed the accuracy of parents' reports of the two main features used in the clinical assessment of sleep related breathing disorders, namely restlessness during sleep and snoring. Study 2 investigated associations between objective measures of restlessness, snoring and blood oxygen saturation during sleep. Study 3 investigated associations between these objective overnight measures and daytime psychological function to determine the psychological significance of these measures in children with Down's syndrome. The research carried out and the implications of the findings are discussed together with future research possibilities.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Learning disability