Sleep characteristics of youth with functional abdominal pain and a healthy comparison group

Objective To describe sleep problems among youth with and without functional abdominal pain (FAP). Methods Participants were 8-15 years of age diagnosed with FAP (n=67) or healthy pain-free comparisons (n = 80). Parents and participants completed instruments assessing sleep, psychiatric status, and FAP symptoms. Parent and child reports of sleep problems were compared across groups and the association of FAP to behavioral sleep problems was assessed controlling for psychopathology. Results Children with FAP were reported to have more symptoms of behavioral sleep disorders (BSD), as well as increased nightmares and daytime tiredness than the comparison group. There were no group differences in total sleep time. Logistic regression analysis indicated that FAP was associated with a significantly increased risk of BSD symptoms [Odds ratio (OR): 4.17] after controlling for psychopathology. Conclusion Sleep problems in youth with FAP warrant clinical attention and future research should continue to explore sleep problems that co-occur with and independent of psychopathology.