Association Between Pretreatment Sleep Disturbance and Radiation Therapy-Induced Pain in 573 Women With Breast Cancer
J Pain Symptom Manage
© 2020 Context: Pain can be a debilitating side effect of radiation therapy (RT). Data from the general population have shown that sleep disturbance can influence pain incidence and severity; however, less is known about this relationship in patients with breast cancer receiving RT. Objectives: This secondary analysis examined the association of pretreatment moderate/severe levels of sleep disturbance with subsequent RT-induced pain after adjusting for pre-RT pain. Methods: We report on 573 female patients with breast cancer undergoing RT from a previously completed Phase II clinical trial for radiation dermatitis. Sleep disturbance, total pain, and pain subdomains—sensory pain, affective pain, and perceived pain intensity were assessed at pre-RT and post-RT. At pre-RT, patients were dichotomized into two groups: those with moderate/severe sleep disturbance (N = 85) vs. those with no/mild sleep disturbance (control; N = 488). Results: At pre-RT, women with moderate/severe sleep disturbance were younger, less likely to be married, more likely to have had mastectomy and chemotherapy, and more likely to have depression/anxiety disorder and fatigue than the control group (all Ps < 0.05). Generalized estimating equations model, after controlling for pre-RT pain and other covariates (e.g., trial treatment condition and covariates that were significantly correlated with post-RT pain), showed that women with moderate/severe sleep disturbance at pre-RT vs. control group had significantly higher mean post-RT total pain as well as sensory, affective, and perceived pain (effect size = 0.62, 0.60, 0.69, and 0.52, respectively; all Ps < 0.05). Conclusion: These findings suggest that moderate/severe disturbed sleep before RT is associated with increased pain from pre-to-post-RT in patients with breast cancer.
School of Medicine