Occupational therapy interventions for sleep disorders amongst children in South Africa

Myburgh, Alicia
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
An increase in the incidence of sleep disorders amongst children has placed a significant demand on occupational therapists to provide interventions to address interruptions in sleep. The overall aim of this study was to describe the current occupational therapy (OT) practice for sleep in children. A quantitative, cross-sectional survey design was used to gather information on the profile of occupational therapists providing sleep interventions to children in South Africa (SA); the current practice for sleep interventions; and the training. The Occupational Therapy Health Literacy Skills for Pain and/or Sleep Disorder Survey, by Brown, Swedlove and Berry (2012) was adapted for use in SA. This standardised survey was set up on REDCap, distributed via various online platforms. Descriptive statistics were analysed through the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (IBM-SPSS -V23) programme. The sample size for this study was set at 105. Hundred and thirty responses were received and 118 met the inclusion criteria. Respondents estimated that over a quarter of their caseload experienced sleep disorders. However, limited number offered OT sleep interventions for children. Insufficient training, limited assessment/treatment tools, and time; were identified as barriers to provision of sleep interventions for children. The results of the study revealed the importance of …Therefore, it is recommended that undergraduate OT courses in SA include basic theory and knowledge regarding sleep and sleep interventions
A research report submitted to the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Occupational Therapy