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Papers of the Week

2022 Nov 30

J Clin Med



Applicability of Actigraphy for Assessing Sleep Behaviour in Children with Palliative Care Needs Benchmarked against the Gold Standard Polysomnography.


In children with life-limiting conditions and severe neurological impairment receiving pediatric palliative care (PPC), the degree to which actigraphy generates meaningful sleep data is uncertain. Benchmarked against the gold standard polysomnography (PSG), the applicability of actigraphy in this complex population was to be assessed. An actigraph was placed on N = 8 PPC patients during one-night polysomnography measurement in a pediatric tertiary care hospital's sleep laboratory. Patient characteristics, sleep phase data, and respiratory abnormalities are presented descriptively. Bland-Altman plots evaluated actigraphy's validity regarding sleep onset, sleep offset, wake after sleep onset (WASO), number of wake phases, total sleep time (TST) and sleep efficiency compared to PSG. PSG revealed that children spent most of their time in sleep stage 2 (46.6%) and most frequently showed central apnea (28.7%) and irregular hypopnea (14.5%). Bland-Altman plots showed that actigraphy and PSG gave similar findings for sleep onset, sleep offset, wake after sleep onset (WASO), total sleep time (TST) and sleep efficiency. Actigraphy slightly overestimated TST and sleep efficiency while underestimating all other parameters. Generally, the Actiwatch 2 low and medium sensitivity levels showed the best approximation to the PSG values. Actigraphy seems to be a promising method for detecting sleep problems in severely ill children.