Comparing sleep quality in institutionalized and non-institutionalized elderly individuals

Raquel Martins da Silva, Pedro Afonso, Miguel Fonseca, Tomás Teodoro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Sleep is a physiological function essential to general health and well-being. Insomnia is a sleep disorder frequently reported by older adults. Institutionalization in nursing care homes may contribute to increase the risk of sleep disorders in this population. The aim of this exploratory study was to compare sleep quality among a group of institutionalized (GI) and a group of non-institutionalized (GNI) elderly individuals. Method: We selected 100 individuals over 65 years of age. Participants were divided into two groups (N = 50 in each group) according to their institutionalization status (GI and GNI). The following assessment instruments were used: Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Inventory (PSQI), Epworth Sonolence Scale (ESS) and Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). Study groups were compared in their sociodemographic, social and clinical characteristics with statistical analysis performed to detect correlations between variables. Results: GI elderly presented worse overall sleep quality and higher levels of daytime somnolence and depressive symptoms. A positive correlation was found between sleep quality, daytime sleepiness (ESS) (p < 0.01) and depressive symptoms (GDS) (p < 0.01). Conclusions: Our results are consistent with the possibility that elderly individuals admitted to long-term care and residential institutions present with worse sleep quality. Higher levels of depressive symptoms, lower occupational activity and sunlight exposure are specifically associated with a worse sleep quality. Further studies with larger and more diverse samples, including community-dwelling individuals, may be important to consolidate these findings.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAging and Mental Health
Issue number9
Early online date17 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Aging
  • institutionalization
  • psychosocial factors
  • sleep
  • sleep quality


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