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Changes in self-reported hot flashes and their association with concurrent changes in insomnia symptoms among women with breast cancer

Savard, Marie-Hélène PhD1,2,3; Savard, Josée PhD1,2; Trudel-Fitzgerald, Claudia BA1,2; Ivers, Hans PhD1,2; Quesnel, Catherine PhD1,2

Menopause:
doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e31820db6a1
Original Articles
Abstract

Objective: The aim of this study was to assess longitudinally the relationship between hot flashes and insomnia symptoms in women receiving adjuvant treatments for breast cancer.

Methods: Fifty-eight participants completed a 7-day daily diary assessing hot flashes, the Menopause-Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire, and the Insomnia Severity Index, before and after chemotherapy or radiotherapy and at a 3-month follow-up evaluation.

Results: A first canonical correlation analysis (n = 55) revealed a marginally significant relationship between pretreatment versus posttreatment change scores in hot flashes and sleep (R = 0.39), and a second analysis (n = 51) showed a significant relationship between posttreatment and follow-up changes in hot flash activity and sleep (R = 0.59).

Conclusions: These results show that increases in vasomotor symptoms occurring within the few months after the termination of initial adjuvant treatments for breast cancer are significantly associated with concurrent increases in insomnia symptoms and vice versa.

In Brief

Increases in hot flash severity and bother occurring within the few months following the termination of initial adjuvant treatments for breast cancer were significantly associated with concurrent increases in insomnia symptoms and vice versa. These relationships were not significant at posttreatment but were in the same direction.

Author Information

From the 1École de psychologie, Université Laval; 2Centre de recherche en cancérologie de l'Université Laval; and 3Centre hospitalier affilié universitaire de Québec, Québec, Québec, Canada.

Received October 20, 2010; revised and accepted December 28, 2010.

Funding/support: This study was supported by salary support awards from the Fonds pour la recherche en santé du Québec and from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to M.S., J.S., and C.T.-F. and by a research grant from the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation to J.S.

Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: None reported.

Address correspondence to: Josée Savard, PhD, Laval University Cancer Research Center, 11 Côte du Palais, Québec, Québec, Canada G1R 2J6. E-mail: josee.savard@psy.ulaval.ca

©2011The North American Menopause Society