Original Research

Sleep quality of adult psychiatric outpatients at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital

Celeste M. Harlies, Wendy Friedlander
South African Journal of Psychiatry | Vol 29 | a2113 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v29i0.2113 | © 2023 Celeste M. Harlies, Wendy Friedlander | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 May 2023 | Published: 29 November 2023

About the author(s)

Celeste M. Harlies, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Wendy Friedlander, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa


Background: Sleep disorders are increasingly prevalent among the general population and individuals with mental disorders. However, little research has focused on the sleep quality of psychiatric patients beyond depression, despite its relevance in diagnostic criteria.

Aim: This study aimed to assess overall sleep quality in psychiatric outpatients and to assess for an association with socio-demographic variables.

Setting: This study took place at the adult psychiatric outpatient department of Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital.

Methods: A cross-sectional study design was employed to evaluate overall sleep quality using the self-administered Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), a validated tool. The PSQI yields a global score ranging from 0 to 21, with scores of 5 or greater indicating poor sleep quality. Eligibility was determined through structured clinical interviews and data obtained from participant records.

Results: Poor sleep quality was found in 50% of participants. Sleep quality did not differ significantly based on sex or age. Subscale analysis revealed reduced sleep duration and efficiency, nocturnal disturbances and daytime dysfunction. Additionally, 38% of participants required pharmacological intervention for sleep issues, despite lacking a diagnosis of primary or comorbid sleep disorders.

Conclusion: Half of the psychiatric outpatients experienced poor sleep quality, irrespective of socio-demographic factors, psychiatric diagnosis, symptom remission or medication type.

Contribution: This study highlights the importance of addressing sleep disturbances as comorbid conditions in psychiatric patients. Comprehensive evaluation and management of sleep quality can lead to improved patient outcomes and quality of life.



psychiatric disorders; psychiatric outpatients; sleep quality; sleep disorders; insomnia; Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index; PSQI

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being


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