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Patient characteristics and predictors of sleep medication use

Omvik, Siria; Pallesen, Ståleb d; Bjorvatn, Bjørnc d; Sivertsen, Børgea; Havik, Odd E.a; Nordhus, Inger H.a d

International Clinical Psychopharmacology: March 2010 - Volume 25 - Issue 2 - p 91-100
doi: 10.1097/YIC.0b013e328334e5e6
Original Articles

The objective of this study was to investigate the characteristics of sleep medication users, and their satisfaction with treatment and subjective difficulty with quitting the drugs. A representative sample of 5000 adults in Norway was selected to participate in an epidemiologic study. The data were collected through a postal survey in which a total of 2645 (52.9%) participants responded. Weighted logistic regression was used to explore predictors for the drug pattern use. The prevalence of lifetime, current, and chronic use of sleep medications were 18.8, 7.9, and 4.2%. The use was associated with low socioeconomic status, older age, female sex, and frequent symptoms of sleep disorders, anxiety, and depression. Older age and low perceived control over sleep were the strongest predictors for use and difficulty in quitting sleep medications. Among responders who had ever used sleep medications, 80.3% would prefer a nonpharmacological treatment alternative. It is concluded that consumption of sleep medications is widespread in Norway, and that perception of control over sleep may play a significant role in the drug pattern use. Nonpharmacological treatment is to a small extent implemented in the health care sector.

Departments of aClinical Psychology

bPsychosocial Science

cPublic Health and Primary Health Care, University of Bergen

dNorwegian Competence Center for Sleep Disorders, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway

Correspondence to Ms Siri Omvik, PhD, Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Bergen, Christiesgt 12, 5015 Bergen, Norway

Tel: +47 55 01 02 36; fax: +47 55 58 98 77; e-mail:

Author responsible for administering reprints: Ståle Pallesen, Department of Psychosocial Science, University of Bergen, Christiesgt 12, 5015 Bergen, Norway.

Received 30 March 2009 Accepted 3 November 2009

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.