Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Susan C. McMillan, Ph.D., ARNP

Co-Major Professor

Joan Gregory, Ph.D., ARNP

Committee Member

Janine Overcash, Ph.D., ARNP


Hospice patients, Cancer pain, Insomnia, Palliative care, Terminal patients


There is evidence of a relationship between sleep-wake disturbances and pain variables in cancer patients. It is hypothesized that pain affects all aspects of sleep patterns. Pain has been known to affect sleep disturbances; however there are different facets of sleep-disturbances and pain that can be evaluated. These variables include pain distress, pain intensity, pain at its worst, relief from pain, sleep distress, how well the patient sleeps, how tired one feels, and drowsiness distress. Several studies identify relationships between sleep-disturbances and pain. This study using secondary analysis was designed to correlate variables related to sleep-wake disturbance and pain in cancer patients admitted to hospice home care. The study sample included 209 cancer patients from a previously completed clinical trial with various cancer diagnoses. Results of sleep and pain variables were re-analyzed using Pearson correlations. The results showed significant positive relationships between pain distress and sleep distress (p = .000), difficulty sleeping and pain intensity (p = .008), and sleep distress and pain at its worst (p = .008). There were no significant relationships found between sleep distress and relief from pain, pain distress and how well the patient sleeps, pain distress and how tired one feels, and pain distress and drowsiness distress.

Sleep-wake disturbances and pain have been studied in cancer patients, but there is little known concerning pain and its correlation to sleep disturbances of cancer patients admitted to hospice home care. This study provided important information on the relationship between sleep-wake disturbance and pain variables in this group of cancer patients. This study provides data to support the necessity to provide complete and accurate assessments of sleep and pain symptoms on admission to hospice home care and throughout the patient's care to aid in improved quality of life.