Centre for Community Child Health

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Sleep Well-Be Well

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    Study 1: Efficacy randomized controlled trial (2007 to 2010)

    Aims

    The trial aimed todetermine whether a brief sleep education program can improve children's sleep problems during the first year of primary school. In addition, it examined whether improving child sleep problems had positive flow on benefits for child behaviour, social and emotional functioning, learning and parent mental health. 

    Methodology

    The project began in the first term of the school year in 2008 and 2009. Parents filled out the last survey 1 year after agreeing to participate in the study.

    Twenty-schools from three local government areas in Melbourne took part in the study. Over 1500 families with Grade Prep children completed our survey which screened for child sleep problems. Parents answered questions about their child's sleep and health, and their own health.

    We then invited 136 families identified from the survey to have a child with a sleep problem to take further part in the trial. Of these, 108 (80%) agreed to participate. Families were randomly divided into 2 groups. Parents allocated to the 'treatment' group attended 1-2 education session with a trained research assistant. Sessions were conducted in a one-on-one format. Parents were given information about normal sleep habits for children. With the research team member, they worked out a 'sleep plan' to help them improve their child's sleep. The 'usual care' group were not offered the program but were able to seek help from other sources.

    Methodology:

    Community-based survey

    Translational randomised controlled trial

    Date:

    Start: June 2007

    Finish: June 2010

    Funding:

    Centre for Community Child Health

    Contacts/Staff involved:

    Dr Jon Quach
    jon.quach@mcri.edu.au

    Outcomes

    The program was successful in reducing child sleep problems and improving child and parent health. The results of this study directly informed the translational trial below.

    Sleep Well-Be Well Study Newsletter (PDF)

    Publications

    Quach J, Hiscock H, Wake M.  Sleep problems and mental health in Elementary School new entrants: Cross-sectional community-based study. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health 2012

    Quach J, Hiscock H, Ukoumunne O, Wake M.  A brief sleep intervention improves outcomes in the school entry year: Population-based randomised controlled trial.  Pediatrics 2011;128;692

    Presentations

    J Quach, H Hiscock, M Wake. "A Brief School-Entry Sleep Intervention Improves Child and Parent Outcomes: A Randomized Controlled Trial" Pediatric Academic Societies' Annual Meeting, 30th April to 3rd May 2011, Denver, USA

    J Quach, H Hiscock, M Wake. "A Brief School-Entry Sleep Intervention Improves Child and Parent Outcomes: A Randomized Controlled Trial" Pediatric Academic Societies' Annual Meeting, 1st - 4th May 2010, Vancouver, Canada

    J Quach, H Hiscock, M Wake. "Impact of a brief school-entry sleep intervention on child and parent outcomes: Randomised controlled trial"   RoyalAustralianCollege of Physicians - Physicians Week in conjunction with WCIM, March 22nd - 24th 2010, Melbourne

    J Quach, H Hiscock, M Wake. "Impact of sleep intervention on child behaviour, learning and parent mental health: a randomised trial" Australasian Sleep Association 21st Annual Scientific Meeting, 8th - 10th October 2009, Melbourne 2009

    J Quach, H Hiscock, M Wake. ""Impact of sleep intervention on child behaviour and learning: a randomised controlled trial". Public Health Association Australia 39th Annual Meeting, 28th - 30th September 2009, Canberra

    Study 2: Translational randomized controlled trial (2012 to 2015)

    Sleep Well Be Well Study Newsletter - December 2013 (PDF)

    Funding

    The second Sleep Well - Be Well study is funded by a project grant from the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council.

    Aims

    This study aims to find out whether the same sleep education program in the first trial, is effective when delivered by school nurses from the Victorian Primary School Nursing for children with sleep problems in Grade Prep. We will examine whether improving children's sleep has positive benefits for the child's behavior, learning and their parent's mental health up to 1 year later. If effective and cost-effective, it could be readily incorporated into the existing school health system.

    Methodology

    The study has two stages.

    In the first stage, we will approach families in the second term of the school year in 2013 and 2014. Forty primary schools in the Southern School Region of Melbourne will take part in the study. In each year, 2500 families with Grade Prep children will be asked to complete a short survey about their child's sleep, behavior and also about their own health.

    In the second stage, we will invite all parents who indicate their child has a sleep problem to participate. For the families who agree to participate, we will randomly place them in to either the 'sleep education' or 'usual care' group. Parents allocated to the 'sleep education' group will attend 1-2 sleep sessions with a primary school nurse from the Victorian Primary School Nursing program. We will train the school nurse to provide parents with a range of strategies and tips to help their children sleep better. Parents will be given information about normal sleep habits for children. With the school nurse, parents will work out a 'sleep plan' to help them improve their child's sleep. The 'usual care' group will not be offered the program but will be able to seek help from other sources. Parents in second stage will complete follow up surveys 6 and 12 months after enrolling in the study and we will also assess children's learning and working memory at 6 months.

    Methodology:

        Community-based survey

        Translational randomised controlled trial

    Date:

        Start: June 2012

        Finish: June 2015

    Funding:

        Centre for Community Child Health

    Contacts/Staff involved:

        Associate Professor Harriet Hiscock

        harriet.hiscock@rch.org.au

        Professor Melissa Wake

        melissa.wake@rch.org.au

        Dr Jon Quach

        jon.quach@mcri.edu.au

    Publications

    Quach J, Gold L, Sia K, Arnup S, Wake M, Hiscock H.  Sleep Well – Be Well study: Improving School Transition by Improving Child Sleep – A Translational Randomised Trial. BMJ Open 2013;3:e004009 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-004009 (IF 1.58)

 

Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

The Centre for Community Child Health is a department of The Royal Children’s Hospital and a research group of Murdoch Childrens Research Institute.