Associations between longitudinal changes in sleep disturbance and depressive and anxiety symptoms during the COVID-19 virus pandemic among older women with and without breast cancer in the thinking and living with breast cancer study.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

PURPOSE: Several studies have reported sleep disturbances during the COVID-19 virus pandemic. Little data exist about the impact of the pandemic on sleep and mental health among older women with breast cancer. We sought to examine whether women with and without breast cancer who experienced new sleep problems during the pandemic had worsening depression and anxiety. METHODS: Breast cancer survivors aged ≥60 years with a history of nonmetastatic breast cancer (n = 242) and frequency-matched noncancer controls (n = 158) active in a longitudinal cohort study completed a COVID-19 virus pandemic survey from May to September 2020 (response rate 83%). Incident sleep disturbance was measured using the restless sleep item from the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D). CES-D score (minus the sleep item) captured depressive symptoms; the State-Anxiety subscale of the State Trait Anxiety Inventory measured anxiety symptoms. Multivariable linear regression models examined how the development of sleep disturbance affected changes in depressive or anxiety symptoms from the most recent prepandemic survey to the pandemic survey, controlling for covariates. RESULTS: The prevalence of sleep disturbance during the pandemic was 22.3%, with incident sleep disturbance in 10% and 13.5% of survivors and controls, respectively. Depressive and anxiety symptoms significantly increased during the pandemic among women with incident sleep disturbance (vs. no disturbance) (β = 8.16, p < 0.01 and β = 6.14, p < 0.01, respectively), but there were no survivor-control differences in the effect. CONCLUSION: Development of sleep disturbances during the COVID-19 virus pandemic may negatively affect older women's mental health, but breast cancer survivors diagnosed with the nonmetastatic disease had similar experiences as women without cancer.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bethea, TN; Zhai, W; Zhou, X; Ahles, TA; Ahn, J; Cohen, HJ; Dilawari, AA; Graham, DMA; Jim, HSL; McDonald, BC; Nakamura, ZM; Patel, SK; Rentscher, KE; Root, J; Saykin, AJ; Small, BJ; Van Dyk, KM; Mandelblatt, JS; Carroll, JE

Published Date

  • September 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 11 / 17

Start / End Page

  • 3352 - 3363

PubMed ID

  • 35315588

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC9110906

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2045-7634

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/cam4.4682


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States