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Tribune News Network
An MSc student of Clinical Pharmacy and Practice at Qatar University’s College of Pharmacy (QU-CPH), Raja Mahamade Ali’s study has revealed that insomnia affects more than two thirds of Qatar University (QU) students.
Poor sleep hygiene practices were also highly prevalent among QU students and appear to contribute substantially -- by four folds -- to the poor quality of sleep identified in this population, says the study.
Ali recently defended her MSc thesis entitled ‘Sleep patterns among university students and insomnia management in primary care in Qatar: A two phase investigation’.
The study aimed to explore the prevalence of insomnia among university students, and assess how insomnia is being addressed and managed within Qatar’s main public health services. The study was conducted under the supervision of CPH Assistant Professor Dr Monica Zolezzi and was co-supervised by CPH Associate Professor Dr Ahmed Awaisu.
Raja Ali said, “University students were selected because they are known to be a population at risk of having sleep disturbances, and primary healthcare centres (PHCCs) were chosen for being the first point of contact with the healthcare system for people who may be experiencing sleeping problems.
“For the purpose of this study, two questionnaires were used: one investigated the students’ quality of sleep and another explored behavioural and environmental factors which could affect sleep, also known as Sleep Hygiene.”
She also explained that for the second phase of the study, pharmacists and physicians from PHCCs were interviewed on the commonly followed approaches for the identification and treatment of insomnia.
Healthcare professionals at the PHCC revealed that insomnia is an important health concern which often presents a challenge to manage it adequately. Several reasons for these challenges emerged from these interviews, including the complexity of insomnia symptoms and its link to mental illness, the limited availability of pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments, patient attitudes towards insomnia and its treatments, and the lack of local guidelines to guide insomnia management.
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