Asian Oncol Nurs.  2022 Sep;22(3):163-192. 10.5388/aon.2022.22.3.163.

Research Trends of Non-Pharmacological Interventions for Sleep-Wake Disturbances in Cancer Patients

  • 1Assistant Professor, Department of Nursing, Songwon University, Gwangju, Korea
  • 2Associate Professor, College of Nursing · Research Institute of Nursing Science, Jeonbuk National University, Jeonju, Korea


This review aimed to explore current publication trends, major concepts, measurements, and intervention types regarding sleep-wake disturbance in cancer patients.
Studies published up to 26 December, 2021 were examined through PubMed, EMBASE, The Cochrane Library, KMbase, CINAHAL, ScienceON and Google scholar using English and Korean keywords with appropriate definitions related to sleep-wake disturbances in cancer patients. A total of 3,542 articles were found and 73 articles introducing intervention to reduce sleep-wake disturbance were included in the final analysis.
Interventions for sleep-wake disturbance in cancer patients were classified into the following types: exercise interventions (38.1%), cognitive behavioral therapy (26.2%), complementary and alternative medicine intervention (19.0%), mindfulness-based stress reduction intervention (9.5%), herbal medication intervention (2.4%), dance intervention (1.2%), music intervention (1.2%) and mixed intervention (1.2%). Most of the interventions (52.1%) were performed on breast cancer patients. The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index was the most frequently used subjective measurement. Objective measurements to measure sleep quality or sleep disturbance included actigraphy and polysomnography. Sixty-four articles (87.7%) out of 73 found that interventions to reduce sleep-wake disturbance in cancer patients were effective.
Nursing intervention to reduce sleep-wake disturbance is important in oncology nursing practice. This literature review emphasizes the need to develop more tailored and suitable interventions considering various cancer patients’ characteristics.


Neoplasms; Program; Research; Review; Sleep wake disorders
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