The burden of sleep problems: A pilot observational study in an ethnically diverse urban primary care setting

Elizabeth K. Seng, Cynthia Cervoni, Jessica L. Lawson, Tanya Oken, Sloane Sheldon, Melissa D. McKee, Karen A. Bonuck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Introduction: Sleep disorders affect up to 1 in 4 adults and can adversely affect a variety of health conditions. However, little is known about detection of sleep disorders in ethnically diverse urban primary care settings. Methods: Patients in urban primary care settings completed surveys to screen for sleep problems and identify comorbid conditions. Providers were given screening results, and provided feedback regarding their clinical utility. Results: Participants (n = 95) were predominantly women (76.8%) and black, non-Hispanic (46.3%), or Hispanic (38.9%). High proportion of participants screened positive for insomnia (31.6%) and screened high risk for sleep apnea (42.1%). Only one-third (32.6%) of participants reported sleeping the recommended 7 to 9 hours per night. The presence of chronic pain (χ2 = 4.97, P = .03) was associated with clinically significant insomnia. Obesity was associated with fewer hours of sleep per night, t = 2.19(87), P = .03, and risk for sleep apnea (OR = 3.11, 95% CI = 1.28-7.50). Participants were interested in receiving help for sleep issues during their primary care visits (40%), and providers found the screening at least somewhat useful (74.4%). Discussion: Results highlight the potentially high unmet need for screening and treatment of sleep problems in ethnically diverse urban primary care settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)276-280
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of primary care & community health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016



  • Insomnia
  • Primary care
  • Screening
  • Sleep
  • Sleep apnea
  • Urban

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Community and Home Care
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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