Insomnia in adolescents: prevalence, help-seeking behaviors, and types of interventions

Authors


Abstract

Background

Little is known about the DSM-IV diagnosis of insomnia among adolescents. Their help-seeking behaviors and self-help strategies for insomnia remain largely unclear.

Method

A cross-sectional, interview-based study of 290 Chinese adolescents.

Results

The prevalence of insomnia symptoms was 40%, among which 9.3% had DSM-IV insomnia. Primary insomnia accounted for 7.9%, whereas insomnia associated with psychiatric disorders constituted 1.4%. Adolescents with DSM-IV insomnia had more severe and frequent insomnia, higher GHQ scores, and were more likely to have a history of sleep paralysis than those with insomnia symptoms alone. About 22% of adolescents with insomnia symptoms sought help and 32% attempted various strategies to improve sleep.

Conclusions

Many adolescents were troubled by insomnia, but they seldom sought help from healthcare professionals or received proper treatments.

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