Prevalence of poor sleep quality and associated factors in inmates of a Nigerian prison

  • S.O. Osasona
  • E Uwadiae


Background: Literature suggests that poor sleep quality is a frequent health problem in prisons and is related to poor psychosocial adjustment and more physical health complaints. The potential contribution of sleep problems to aggressiveness and impulsivity in prison population has been noted, yet little is known about the quality of sleep of prison inmates in Nigeria.

Objectives: a) To assess the quality of sleep and so determine the prevalence of poor sleep quality among inmates of a Nigerian prison. b) To identify the demographic characteristics of poor sleepers, and c) To determine the association of poor sleep quality with psychiatric morbidity.

Materials and Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted at a medium security prison in Benin City, Nigeria between July and September 2013. Two hundred and fifty two inmates were assessed for sleep quality, mood/health, and socio-demographic variables using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), the Self Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ-20) and a socio-demographic data collection sheet respectively. Results were analyzed using the 16th version of SPSS. Simple cross tabulations, Chi-square test, Pearson’s correlation analysis, and multiple logistic regression were performed, as appropriate, with the statistical level of significance set at p<0.05.

Results: Majority (63%) of the respondents met the PSQI criteria for poor sleep quality. Chi-square test revealed that anxiety, depression, general psychopathology, age, marital status, self reported poor physical and mental health, and self- rating of the prison feeding and medical services had significant association with sleep quality. Pearson’s correlation analysis showed significant positive correlation between measures of sleep quality and psychiatric morbidity, and logistic regression indicated that marital status (being separated or divorced) and having general psychopathology significantly predicted poor sleep quality when adjusting for other demographic and health variables.

Conclusion: The prevalence of poor sleep quality among the inmates was high compared with the findings in most developed countries. The risk of poor sleep quality was significantly associated with having general psychopathology and being separated/divorced. The implication of these findings for the prisoners’ health and the delivery of medical care services to them, as well as policy initiative were discussed.


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eISSN: 0008-9176