Implications of interrupted sleep subsequent to hospitalisation for older adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Miss Aislinn Lalor1, Associate Professsor Lisa O’Brien1, Associate Professor Ted Brown1, Professor Terry Haines1

1Monash University, Hughesdale, Australia


Aim: This presentation will describe available evidence about sleep interruptions for older adults subsequent to hospitalisation and make relevant recommendations for health professionals.

Method: A comprehensive systematic review, across fourteen databases and secondary sources, was conducted of current literature on the implications of sleep interruptions of older adults due to hospitalisation.

Results: Ten studies met inclusion criteria. Seven compared sleep quality before versus during hospitalisation, and a meta-analysis conducted on three. One study compared sleep quality during versus post-hospitalisation. Potential causative factors for sleep disturbance in hospital included pain, cognition, routines, environment, symptom management, and emotional response. Meta-analysis indicated hospitalisation was detrimental to older adult’s sleep quality when compared to pre-hospital sleep. One study suggested sleep quality improves following discharge.

Significance of the findings to allied health: Health professionals are involved in increasingly complex discharge planning for older adults following hospitalisation. Sleep is an important aspect of this planning process due to the impact that it can have on the everyday functioning of an individual; their physical and psychological health and wellbeing and occupational performance. Further research is required to consider the impact of sleep interruptions on the health and wellbeing of older adults when they transition home.