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Sleep disorders in elderly of long-term care institution in northeast Brazil


Sleep disorders increase the risk of institutionalization, as the prevalence of sleep problems in institutionalized older adults is high. Factors that contribute to sleep impairment in long-term care institution (LTCI) residents include changes related to age, the presence of sleep disorders, dementia, depression, various medical illnesses, as well as polypharmacy, institutional and environmental factors.


This study aimed to verify if the sleep-related problems in the LTCI elderly at an underdeveloped country have a higher prevalence than the general population. Besides this, we checked the possible association of sleep disorders with the different variables related to institutionalization.


A cross-sectional, observational study was carried out with institutionalized elderly at the Lar Torres de Melo institution, located in the city of Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil. The control group consisted of healthy elderly, matched by sex and age, from groups of older people in different parts of the city. We included a total of 208 participants. The study lasted 11 months, from June 2018 to May 2019.


LTCI patients presented lower values on the Epworth sleepiness scale, Bang STOP, and abdominal circumference in comparison to the control group. The LTCI elderly were more limited, used antidepressants more frequently, and had a higher prevalence of dementia in comparison to the control group. We did not observe significant differences in the other variables.


Institutionalization, by itself, did not increase the frequency of problems related to sleep, as long as the elderly are attended and adequately treated.


Sleep Disorders, Intrinsic; Nursing Homes; Aging


Área Clínica




Ianna Lacerda Sampaio Braga, Juliana Carvalho Pereira de Matos, João Castelo Filho, Luana Camelo Oliveira, Priscila Pinheiro Silvestre, Ticiane Araújo Parente, Caroline Brandão Joventino, Natália Gimeniz Galvão, Luana Sales de Barros, Manoel Alves Sobreira-Neto