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Though sleep disturbances are common among psychiatric patients, some patients may trivialize their problem and not discuss it with their doctors. This study thus aimed to assess patient profile that is associated with help seeking for sleep problems among psychiatric patients.
Outpatients from a tertiary psychiatric hospital were recruited for this study (n = 400). The pittsburgh sleep quality index was administered to identify cases of probable insomnia, and daytime impairment due to sleep disturbances was recorded. Participants were asked if they have ever consulted a doctor or any health professionals for their sleep problems. Sociodemographic information was recorded and clinical profile was obtained from the patient's medical records. Multivariate logistic regression was used to examine correlates of help-seeking behaviour among patients with probable insomnia.
275 cases of probable insomnia were identified. Among this group of patients, 38.9% had never sought help for their sleep problems. Participants who were single were less likely to seek help as compared to those who were widowed/separated/divorced (OR= 0.319, P = 0.023). Having a comorbid psychiatric condition was independently associated with increased odds of help seeking (OR= 1.952, P = 0.027). Participants who perceived greater daytime impairment due to sleep problems were more likely to seek help (OR= 1.465, P = 0.007).
The majority of psychiatry patients with sleep problems sought professional help, though there remained a substantial group that did not do so. There is a need to educate and create awareness of potential sleep problems among psychiatric patients, and to inform them of the availability of treatment.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
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