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BETTER NIGHTS, BETTER DAYS FOR CHILDREN WITH NEURODEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS

17/11/2021
Shelly-Ann McMorris

Purpose of Research
Up to 90% of Canadian children with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD) experience insomnia symptoms including trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, and/or waking too early. Insomnia leads to poor sleep quality and quantity, as well as increased challenges with academic, emotional, social, and physical functioning, and can contribute to increased symptom presentation in children with neurodevelopmental disorders.

Evidence supports the effectiveness of behavioural treatments for insomnia. However, these interventions are not often available to families of children with NDDs. This is why Dr. Penny Corkum (Dalhousie University; IWK Health Centre), Dr. Shelly Weiss (University of Toronto; SickKids), and their colleagues at institutions across Canada have created an online sleep intervention program, Better Nights, Better Days for Children with Neurodevelopmental Disorders (BNBD-NDD).

Funded by the Kids Brain Health Network, BNBD-NDD is an evidence-based, transdiagnostic online program for parents with children ages 4-10 years old with Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Cerebral Palsy (CP), and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) that experience insomnia.

Who Can Participate? The BNBD-NDD research team are currently recruiting 320 families of children with ADHD, ASD, CP and/or FASD who experience sleeping problems from across Canada to participate in their research study to evaluate the effectiveness of BNBD-NDD.

What is involved? Eligible participants will be asked to complete a series of online questionnaires before they begin, and will be asked to complete a sleep diary and have their child wear an actigraph (a wrist watch-like device that measures sleep) for 7 days. Participants will then be randomly divided into one of two groups. One group will be able to the BNBD-NDD program immediately. The second group will be given access to the program at the end of the study. Both groups will complete a series of questionnaires, complete a sleep diary, and wear the actigraph at 4 months and 8 months after they have enrolled in the study. This will allow the Better Nights, Better Days team to evaluate the program.

Location of Study This study is coordinated at Dalhousie University. The research team is recruiting families from across Canada. All questionnaires and the BNBD-NDD program are completed online from the convenience of your own home. 

How Can I Join This Study? Interested families can enter the online study database to begin eligibility assessment by visiting the study and clicking “Can I Participate”: ndd.betternightsbetterdays.ca

Contact Information For questions, please contact the research coordinator Sydney Dale-McGrath at bnbd-ndd@dal.ca

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