The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

4300.0: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - Board 5

Abstract #37034

Investigating sleep and health in homeless mothers: A pilot study

Dinah Phillips Welch, MSN, ARNP, College of Nursing, University of Florida, PO Box 100187, Gainesville, FL 32610-0187, 352-378-9624,

Homeless mothers and their children are forced to live in environments that have consequences for their emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. Environmental stressors associated with homelessness may interfere with obtaining restful sleep and, in turn, have deleterious effects on health. One aspect that has received little attention among homeless women is the relationship between sleep deprivation and health. It is well recognized that there are adverse effects associated with ensuing daytime sleepiness, such as fatigue, decreased performance, and an increased propensity for accidents. In addition, recent theoretical advances and research findings in the public health literature suggest chronic sleep deprivation may play a role in the development of chronic illnesses such as hypertension, obesity and diabetes. The overall purpose of this study was to describe sleep patterns in relation to health among homeless mothers. A descriptive correlational design was utilized to investigate the relationships among sleep quantity, sleep quality, daytime sleepiness and health in a group of homeless mothers. Self-report questionnaires were used to obtain data on sleep and health in a local shelter for homeless families. The information obtained from this study will help to better understand the effects of sleep deprivation on health, identify factors associated with sleep deprivation, and identify areas in need of nursing interventions to benefit homeless women. Ultimately, the findings of this study and future work in this area are expected to contribute to primary prevention efforts aimed at improving functional status among homeless mothers and reducing other adverse health effects of sleep deprivation.

Learning Objectives:

  • After reading this poster the participant will be able to

    Keywords: Homeless, Health

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:
    I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

    PHN Poster Session 2: Student Projects

    The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA