Background: Data on the prevalence of insomnia symptoms in medical outpatient clinics in China are lacking. This study examined the prevalence of insomnia symptoms and their socio-demographic correlates in patients treated at medical outpatient clinics affiliated with four general hospitals in Guangzhou, a large metropolis in southern China.

Method: A total of 4399 patients were consecutively invited to participate in the study. Data on insomnia and its socio-demographic correlates were collected with standardized questionnaires.

Results: The prevalence of any type of insomnia symptoms was 22.1% (95% confidence interval (CI): 20.9–23.3%); the prevalence of difficulty initiating sleep was 14.3%, difficulty maintaining sleep was 16.2%, and early morning awakening was 12.4%. Only 17.5% of the patients suffering from insomnia received sleeping pills. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that male gender, education level, rural residence, and being unemployed or retired were negatively associated with insomnia symptoms, while lacking health insurance, older age and more severe depressive symptoms were positively associated with insomnia symptoms.

Conclusions: Insomnia symptoms are common in patients attending medical outpatient clinics in Guangzhou. Increasing awareness of sleep hygiene measures, regular screening and psychosocial and pharmacological interventions for insomnia are needed in China.

Trial registration: ChiCTR-INR-16008066. Registered 8 March 2016.


insomnia symptoms, medical outpatients, China

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