Objectively measured limitations in daytime activity levels appear to be inextricably linked with sleep disturbances in retinitis pigmentosa (RP) patients, as well as associated with unemployment status and central vision loss. Innovative interventional strategies should be developed to help improve these issues and overall quality of life for RP patients.
Novel sensor devices are emerging as valuable tools to objectively assess behavior. We used validated measures of wrist accelerometry to determine relationships between sleep, vision, and physical activity in RP subjects.
For one week, 33 RP adults wore a wrist Actiwatch to detect movement during the day (average total activity counts) and disturbed sleep at night. They completed Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study visual acuity testing, Pelli-Robson contrast sensitivity, Goldmann V4e visual fields, and sleep diaries and validated questionnaires to assess their sleep and general health.
Greater wake after sleep onset time measured with actigraphy (i.e., sleep disruption) (P = .01), loss of visual acuity (P = .009), and nonemployment/student status (P = .002) were all significant predictors of reduced daytime average total activity counts in a multiple linear regression model, after adjusting for contrast sensitivity as a cooperative suppressor variable (P = .01) (R2 = 0.54). Fragmentation measured with actigraphy (i.e., restlessness during sleep) (P = .07) and decreased sleep quality ratings reported upon awakening by the participants in a sleep diary (P = .06) were each marginally associated with reduced daytime average total activity counts, whereas nonemployment/student status, reduced visual acuity, and contrast sensitivity were still significant predictors. Objective and subjective measures of sleep or daytime activity were not statistically significantly correlated (P > .05).
We find nonemployment/student status and sleep disturbances appear to be related to reduced daytime activity levels in adults with central vision loss due to RP. These findings underscore the importance of developing and evaluating interventions to help RP patients maintain engagement in productive activities and improve their disturbed sleep.