Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Susan McMillan, Ph.D., ARNP

Committee Member

Janine Overcash Ph.D., ARNP

Committee Member

Cecile Lengacher Ph.D., RN


Breast neoplasm, Insomnia, Tamoxifen, Vasomotor, Selective estrogen receptor modulator


Hot flashes are one of the most bothersome symptoms experienced by women who have undergone breast cancer treatment-induced menopause. This vasomotor symptom has been hypothesized to be responsible for decreased sleep quality. This study further investigated the relationship between hot flashes and sleep quality in this population.

The convenience sample consisted of 30 women being seen at an outpatient clinic in a comprehensive cancer center in southwest Florida. All participants were between the ages of 36-65, had a diagnosis of breast cancer and were currently taking a selective estrogen receptor modulator for at least six weeks. The participants completed the Hot Flash Diary, Hot Flash Questionnaire, Hot Flash Related Daily Interference Scale, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and a demographic form.

The mean sleep score of the sample was 9.33 (SD= 4.4). Global sleep scores above five are indicative of poor sleep quality, and global sleep scores of eight or more have been linked to cancer-related fatigue. Sleep was strongly correlated with hot flash distress (r = .754, p. = .000) and hot flash severity (r = .718, p. = .000) and moderately correlated with hot flash interference (r = .507, p. = .004) and hot flash frequency while asleep (r = .680, p. = .000).

The small sample size was a study limitation. However, study results do support findings from previous studies. This study addresses a symptom management problem that may give nurses better understanding of the experiences of their patients. These findings also may assist patients in helping their providers to understand the frustration they are experiencing with regard to their decreased sleep quality.