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Correspondence: Dr R Mahendran
Aim To study the socio-demographic profile, symptomatology, prior treatment and treatment response of patients seen in an Insomnia Clinic.
Method Information was gathered by case-note review from eighty-five consecutive cases referred to the clinic.
Findings There were almost equal numbers of males and females and they were predominantly Chinese, married and almost equally distributed in the 31 to 60 years age range. More than half (54.2%) had sleep problems for more than a year and almost three quarters (74.1%) had prior treatment for sleep problems. The main presenting complaints were of difficulty initiating sleep (92.9%). About 60.7% reported that their sleep problems were transient episodes and 39.3% reported it as persistent. 92.9% of the cases received pharmacotherapy. All patients received psychological treatment. For those treated with pharmacotherapy, 44.7% received benzodiazepines and 37.6% received non-benzodiazepine hypnotics. The majority, 77.5% were on treatment for less than six months. 48.2% improved and ended treatment themselves.
Conclusion The patients in this sample sought treatment or were referred for treatment much earlier compared to other samples studied. Importantly, 29.5% of the patients referred had an undiagnosed psychiatric condition.
Keywords: Patient Characteristics, Insomnia Clinic, Psychiatry Setting
Singapore Med J 2001; 42(2): 64-67