New-onset insomnia among cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy: prevalence, risk factors, and its correlation with other symptoms

Huong Thi Xuan Hoang, Alex Molassiotis, Choi Wan Chan, Thi Huong Nguyen, Van Liep Nguyen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Study objectives: Although insomnia is common among cancer patients, its prevalence remains variable, and its risk factors and correlation with other cancer-related symptoms are not fully explored in the literature. This study aims to determine the prevalence and severity of insomnia as well as risk factors and sleep-related symptom clusters in a sample of cancer patients. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted collecting data from 213 cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy (age = 53.1 ± 11.3 years, 60% female). Insomnia was measured using the Insomnia Severity Index, a sleep log, and Actigraph, while symptoms were assessed using the Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Quality of life was measured with the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy—General. Results: Of the participants, 42.8% reported insomnia, with 31.9% of those with insomnia reporting severe insomnia. Insomnia occurrence and severity were not correlated with the participants’ characteristics, cancer-related or treatment-related factors, only with the participants’ anxiety/depression scores. Principal component analysis showed that insomnia, depression, and anxiety formed a symptom cluster (p < 0.001). There was no difference between sleep parameters measured by Actigraphy in insomnia and non-insomnia participants. Conclusion: This study demonstrated that the prevalence of insomnia was high and indicated a symptom cluster of insomnia, depression, and anxiety. Therefore, interventions to reduce this symptom cluster may benefit cancer patients who are trying to manage these symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-251
Number of pages11
JournalSleep and Breathing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020


  • Actigraph
  • Anxiety
  • Cancer
  • Chemotherapy
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Quality of life
  • Symptom cluster

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'New-onset insomnia among cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy: prevalence, risk factors, and its correlation with other symptoms'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this