Background: Sleep disturbance has been reported frequently by people with chronic low back pain (>12 weeks; CLBP). Disturbed sleep influences patients’ mood, quality of life and recovery including participation in rehabilitation programmes. However, little is known about their sleep quality and disturbance compared to healthy people. Few studies have investigated sleep in CLBP, mainly subjectively measured. This study aimed to explore the extent of and differences in sleep disturbance in people with CLBP, compared to age- and gender matched controls, using subjective and objective sleep measures.\ud Methods: Thirty-two subjects (n=16 with CLBP, n=16 matched controls), aged 24-65 (43.8% male) underwent an interview regarding sleep influencing variables (e.g. mattress firmness, caffeine consumption), completed questionnaires (i.e. SF36-v2 for quality of life (QoL), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, pain severity (NRS), Oswestry Disability Index, Pittsburgh sleep quality index (PSQI) and Insomnia severity index (ISI)) and underwent seven consecutive nights of actigraphic measurements in the home environment.\ud Results: Compared with controls, people with CLBP with a moderate disability level reported a significantly lower QoL, a significantly higher medication usage, and anxiety and depression levels (all p<.001). Other sleep influencing variables were not significantly different. There was a statistically significant sleep disturbance in the CLBP group on self-report measures (PSQI mean 10.9; ISI mean 13.7; p<.001) compared to controls, but no significant differences on objective actigraphy (p>.136).\ud Conclusion: Although subjective measures clearly showed a disturbed sleep in people with CLBP, actigraphic data did not confirm patients’ sleep complaints, findings that require replication in larger population
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