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|Da-Yeh University Department of Nursing, Taiwan|
|Posters & Accepted Abstracts: J Nurs Care|
|Chronic pruritus (> 6 weeks) is a frequent skin complaint in older adults, but little attention has been paid to the effects of the complaint in elderly population. This cross- sectional study aimed to investigate the impact of chronic pruritus on sleep and depression in older adults. Convenient sampling and snowball sampling were used to recruit 930 community-dwelling adults, aged 65-96, from northern and central Taiwan. None of the participants suffered from dementia. The “5D Itch Scale,” “Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index,” and “Epworth Sleepiness Scale” were utilized to collect data. Twenty-four percent of all the participants reported chronic pruritus, with a mean age of 74 (SD = 7.4), and a mean pruritus score of 10.3(SD = 3.3)(> 5 indicates suffering from pruritus). The mean scores of quality of sleep, daytime sleepiness, and depression were 6.9(SD =4.0), 5.4(SD = 5.3), and 1.7(SD = 2.3) respectively. The linear regression analyses indicated that chronic pruritus significantly affected quality of sleep (p = .000), daytime sleepiness (p = .028), and depression (p = .000). However, the percentage of chronic pruritus that can explain the changes in quality of sleep, daytime sleepiness, and depression scores was less than 10% (R2 < .10). This reveals that chronic pruritus may not be the main factor that causes poor quality of sleep, daytime sleepiness, and depression. Future research should take more factors into consideration and exam their causal relationship.|
Jong-Ni Lin earned a PhD degree in 2013 from the University of Washington in the U.S. She is an assistant professor at the Nursing Department of the Da-Yeh University in Taiwan. Her specialty is geriatric nursing and long term care. The research projects which she is conducting include inventing an “Anti-Pruritus Icy Roller” to decrease pruritus, developing exercise programs to improve elderly physical fitness and quality of sleep and an intervention to lessen elderly constipation.
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