A critical review of women's sleep-wake patterns in the context of neo-/adjuvant chemotherapy for early-stage breast cancer

Grigorios Kotronoulas, Yvonne Wengström, Nora Kearney

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Complaints of poor nocturnal sleep and daytime dysfunction may be frequent among women receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer. A critical review of the literature was conducted, which aimed at summarising and critically analysing findings regarding sleep in women with early-stage breast cancer across neo-/adjuvant chemotherapy treatment. A systematic search of three electronic databases (Medline, CINAHL, EMBASE) was conducted from January 1980 to July 2011. Twenty-one articles reporting on 12 studies were included for analysis based on pre-specified selection criteria. Varying deficits in sleep parameters may be evident in a significant part of this population. Yet, research data are not equally distributed among the different sleep components, or across all major time points throughout chemotherapy. More systematic investigation of the experience of disrupted sleep in this population with longitudinal mixed-methods studies is warranted to ensure that person-tailored and clinically meaningful care is delivered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-141
Number of pages14
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • chemotherapy
  • critical review
  • early-stage breast cancer
  • sleep
  • sleep parameters
  • sleep-wake disturbances

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