Comparison of sleep problems in individuals with spinal cord injury and multiple sclerosis

Donald J. Fogelberg, Abbey J. Hughes, Michael V. Vitiello, Jeanne M. Hoffman, Dagmar Amtmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Study Objectives: Sleep problems are common in spinal cord injury (SCI) and multiple sclerosis (MS). However, the degree to which sleep problems differ between these distinct clinical populations has not been evaluated. In this study, we examined self-reported sleep problems in individuals with SCI and those with MS, and compared these clinical groups on the Medical Outcomes Study Sleep Scale (MOS-SS). Methods: Participants were 1,677 individuals (SCI = 581; MS = 1,096) enrolled in longitudinal study of self-reported health outcomes in SCI and MS. Univariate and multivariate analysis of covariance examined group differences on global sleep problems and domain-specific subscales of the MOS-SS. Results: Individuals with SCI reported an average of 30 fewer min of sleep per night (Sleep Quantity subscale) and significantly greater difficulty initiating and maintaining sleep (Sleep Disturbance subscale) compared to individuals with MS. However, groups did not differ on global sleep problems (Sleep Problems Index 9). Conclusions: Although global sleep problems are more common in SCI and MS than in the general population, these groups exhibit differing sleep problem profiles, and thus may require unique treatment approaches to address the specific domains of sleep affected. For individuals with SCI, an additional focus on increasing sleep quantity and reducing sleep disruptions may be warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)695-701
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Sleep Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Self-reported health outcomes
  • Sleep
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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