Longitudinal Course of Sleep Disturbance and Relationship With Itch in Adult Atopic Dermatitis in Clinical Practice

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Dermatitis : contact, atopic, occupational, drug




BACKGROUND: Sleep disturbance (SD) is common in atopic dermatitis (AD). We examined the longitudinal course of SD and relationship with itch in AD patients. METHODS: A prospective, dermatology practice-based study was performed (N = 1295) where patients were assessed at baseline and follow-up visits. RESULTS: At baseline, 16.9% of the patients had severe SD based on Patient-Reported Outcomes Information System (PROMIS) SD T scores, 19.1% had difficulty falling asleep, 22.9% had difficulty staying asleep, and 34.2% had SD from AD. A total of 31.4% of the patients with difficulty staying asleep at baseline experienced persistent difficulties (for 3 follow-ups or more). Only 17.7% with baseline difficulty falling asleep had persistent disturbance. Despite significant fluctuation in sleep scores, SD generally improved over time. Of the patients facing baseline SD from AD, 31.5% experienced SD at the first visit, and only 12.3% experienced persistent SD at the second follow-up visit. Predictors of increased PROMIS sleep-related impairment T scores over time included baseline PROMIS sleep-related impairment T scores (0.74 [0.68-0.80]), having 3 to 6 nights of itch (2.22 [0.85-3.59]), and severe/very severe AD (4.40 [2.60-6.20]). CONCLUSIONS: A significant proportion of adult AD patients, particularly those with moderate-severe AD and frequent itch, had baseline SD. Although sleep scores generally improved over time, many patients experienced a fluctuating or persistent course.