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Web-survey of pharmacological and non-pharmacological sleep interventions for children with early-onset bipolar spectrum disorders

Journal of Affective Disorders
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2009.07.020
  • Sleep
  • Child Psychiatry
  • Bipolar Spectrum Disorders
  • Treatment
  • Web-Survey
  • Biology
  • Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychology


Abstract Background A web-based survey was developed to explore the effect of pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions for sleep difficulties associated with Early-Onset Bipolar Spectrum Disorders (EBSD). Method Four hundred ninety four parents of 4–12 year-olds, identified by parents as being diagnosed with EBSD, provided information about which professionals were consulted regarding their child's EBSD-sleep problems and pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions that helped or worsened sleep. Results Most parents reported consulting at least one medical, mental health, and/or school professional regarding their child's sleep problems. Psychiatrists and other physicians were most often consulted. The majority of parents reported several medications/supplements as helpful, most commonly, atypical antipsychotics (54.4%). Over half identified various pharmacological agents that worsened sleep, most commonly, stimulants (35.0%). Most parents also reported several non-pharmacological interventions that aided sleep problems, most frequently, a sleep routine. Over two-thirds reported a variety of non-pharmacological interventions that worsened sleep, most notably, punishment (34.8%). Limitations The sample was non-random consisting of self-selected and web-savvy parents who self-identified their children as having EBSD and provided only parent derived data. Conclusions Although exploratory and despite limitations, this is the first survey to report data on both pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments for EBSD-sleep problems. It highlights clinical interventions that may improve or worsen EBSD-sleep and provides directions for future research.

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