Barriers to managing sleep disturbance in people with malignant brain tumours and their caregivers: a qualitative analysis of healthcare professionals’ perception

Megan S. Jeon, Meera R. Agar, Eng Siew Koh, Anna K. Nowak, Elizabeth J. Hovey, Haryana M. Dhillon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: This study explores healthcare professionals (HCPs)’ perception and current management of sleep disturbance (SD) in people with malignant brain tumours and their caregivers. We aimed to identify barriers to effective management of SD in neuro-oncology care. Methods: We conducted semi-structured interviews with 11 HCPs involved in neuro-oncology care. The study was underpinned by the Capability Opportunity Motivation-Behaviour (COM-B) model within the Behavioural Change Wheel (BCW) guiding topic selection for the exploration of underlying processes of HCPs’ behaviours and care decisions for SD management. Data were analysed thematically using a framework synthesis, and subsequently mapped onto the BCW to identify barriers for effective management and recommend potential interventions. Results: We identified four themes: HCPs’ clinical opinions about SD, the current practice of SD management in neuro-oncology clinics, gaps in the current practice, and suggested areas for improvements. HCPs perceived SD as a prevalent yet secondary issue of low priority in neuro-oncology care. SD was unrecognised, and inadequately managed in usual clinical settings. Interventional options included modifying the use of corticosteroids or prescribing sedatives. When mapped onto the BCW, themes identified main barriers as a lack of awareness among HCPs about SD warranting care, due to the absence of screening tools and limited knowledge and resources for therapeutic interventions. Conclusions: Multidisciplinary HCPs need training in the routine use of appropriate sleep assessment tools, and access to clear management pathways. More professional resources are needed to educate staff in implementing appropriate interventions for people with malignant brain tumours who are experiencing SD.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Jan 2021

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