Relationship between mood disturbance and sleep quality in oncology outpatients at the initiation of radiation therapy

Christina Van Onselen, Laura B. Dunn, Kathryn Lee, Marylin Dodd, Theresa Koetters, Claudia West, Steven M. Paul, Bradley E. Aouizerat, William Wara, Patrick Swift, Christine Miaskowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose of the research: The purpose of this study was to describe the occurrence of significant mood disturbance and evaluate for differences in sleep quality among four mood groups (i.e., neither anxiety nor depression, only anxiety, only depression, anxiety and depression) prior to the initiation of radiation therapy (RT). Methods and sample: Patients (n=179) with breast, prostate, lung, and brain cancer were evaluated prior to the initiation of RT using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale, and the Spielberger State Anxiety Inventory. Differences in sleep disturbance among the four mood groups were evaluated using analyses of variance. Key results: While 38% of the patients reported some type of mood disturbance, 57% of the patients reported sleep disturbance. Patients with clinically significant levels of anxiety and depression reported the highest levels of sleep disturbance. Conclusions: Overall, oncology patients with mood disturbances reported more sleep disturbance than those without mood disturbance. Findings suggest that oncology patients need to be assessed for mood and sleep disturbances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-379
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Oncology Nursing
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Oncology patients
  • Radiation therapy
  • Sleep disturbance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology(nursing)


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