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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 64-68

Insomnia in primary care settings: Still overlooked and undertreated?


1 Department of Family Medicine, College of Medicine; Department of Medicine, The University Sleep Disorders Center, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada
3 Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
4 Department of Medicine, The University Sleep Disorders Center, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
5 Somnogen Inc, Toronto, Canada

Correspondence Address:
Aljohara S Almeneessier
Department of Family Medicine, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/JNSM.JNSM_30_18

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Background: Insomnia is a major medical problem that is often associated with low health status and increased health-care utilization. Therefore, we conducted this study to determine the frequency of insomnia in a population presenting to the primary healthcare (PHC) clinics for health problems other than sleep disorders. Methods: We interviewed 336 consecutive patients attending PHC face-to-face by trained medical students. Validated questionnaires were used to evaluate insomnia, sleep quality, and daytime sleepiness. The insomnia questionnaire classifies patients into three categories: (1) no insomnia, (2) Level I insomnia with the absence of daytime dysfunction, and (3) Level II insomnia with the presence of daytime dysfunction. Results: Level I insomnia was reported by 19.3% and Level II by 57.1%. Patients with insomnia were older and had worse sleep quality. Apart from a higher prevalence of hypertension among patients with insomnia, there was no difference in other comorbidities between those with insomnia and no insomnia. None of the included patients has reported his/her complaint of insomnia to the treating general practitioner (GP), and none of them was diagnosed with insomnia by the GP. Conclusion: Insomnia and daytime dysfunction are very common in primary care population. Despite the frequent visits of these patients to PHC, none of them has reported that he/she complains to his/her GP, and therefore, did not receive any treatment for insomnia. Education of GPs is necessary to improve recognition, diagnosis, and treatment of insomnia.


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