Child's Nervous System

, Volume 34, Issue 8, pp 1535–1540 | Cite as

Sleep disorders in children with brain tumors: a pilot study based on a sleep disorder questionnaire

  • Chiara PilottoEmail author
  • Eva Passone
  • Elisa Coassin
  • Silvia Birri
  • Ettore Bidoli
  • Giovanni Crichiutti
  • Paola Cogo
  • Maurizio Mascarin
Original Paper



The aim of this study is to compare the prevalence of sleep disorders (SD) between children treated for brain tumors and healthy children, and to define the type of SD.


A case-control study was performed from October 2014 to April 2015. Inclusion criteria were patients between 2 and 16 years with “cases” defined as children affected by central nervous system tumors at least 3 months after the end of treatment (surgery and/or radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy) at the time of evaluation and “controls” as healthy children. Children’s sleep quality was assessed with a questionnaire administered to parents (Child’s Sleep Habits Questionnaire, CSHQ). A total score greater than 41 is suggestive for the presence of disturbed sleep. The risk of SD was estimated by the odds ratio (OR) and their 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) through logistic regression models.


Twenty-nine cases and 87 controls (in a 1:3 model) were enrolled, for a total of 116 subjects. The prevalence of SD resulted of 82.8% among cases and 64.4% in controls. A statistically significant difference between the two groups (OR 2.65; 95% CI 0.92–7.65) was not reached. Analyzing singular disturbances, parasomnias and night awakenings showed a statistically significant difference between the two groups (OR 4.32; 95% CI 1.08–17.34).


Our study revealed a trend toward SD in children with brain tumor when compared to healthy population. Hovewer, analyzing specific subtypes of SD some significant differences were obtained. A significant difference was obtained only for specific subtypes of SD. Further investigations could better define the real burden of SD.


Brain tumor Children Sleep disorder Long-term outcome 



We are grateful to prof. Judith Owens for sharing her valuable work.

Compliance with ethical standards

The study was approved by the local Ethical Committee.

Conflict of interest

All authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical and Experimental Medical Sciences, DAMEUniversity of UdineUdineItaly
  2. 2.Pediatric Clinic, DAME, ASUIUD S. Maria Della MisericordiaUniversity of UdineUdineItaly
  3. 3.Unit of Pediatric RadiotherapyCentro di Riferimento Oncologico CROAvianoItaly
  4. 4.Direzione SanitariaPordenoneItaly
  5. 5.Unit of Cancer EpidemiologyCentro di Riferimento Oncologico CROAvianoItaly

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