Angelman syndrome is a rare genetic syndrome, in which sleep disturbances are reported for 20-80% of individuals (Williams et al., 2006). This interview study delineated parental perceptions of sleep problems experienced by children with Angelman syndrome and the impact on parental sleep quality, health and wellbeing. The nature of desired interventions was also explored. Semi-structured interviews were completed with parents of 50 children, aged 16 months-15 years with Angelman syndrome who experienced current or historic sleep problems; predominantly night waking and settling problems. Parents were concerned by the impact of their child's sleep quality upon their own ability to function during the day. The importance of considering parental experiences was evidenced by variability in coping e.g. despite the persistence of sleep problems 20% of parents did not feel the need for any additional support. Amongst a range of types of further support desired, 27% cited further support with a behavioural intervention, and information about the trajectory of sleep problems in Angelman syndrome (18%). The results suggest that behavioural interventions supporting both children and parents in improving their sleep quality and well-being, and longitudinal research into sleep problems should be prioritised.
- Angelman syndrome
- Parental perspectives