Prevalence and Awareness of Restless Legs Syndrome and Associated Self Reported Sleep Problems in Medical Students
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Original Article
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Prevalence and Awareness of Restless Legs Syndrome and Associated Self Reported Sleep Problems in Medical Students

J Turk Sleep Med 0;0(0):0-0
1. İstanbul University-Cerrahpasa, Cerrahpasa Faculty of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine, İstanbul, Turkey
2. İstanbul University-Cerrahpasa, Cerrahpasa Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neurology, İstanbul, Turkey
No information available.
No information available
Received Date: 20.09.2023
Accepted Date: 27.11.2023
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ABSTRACT

Objective:

Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) symptoms may cause stress and anxiety which lead to functional disturbances. In several studies, awareness about RLS was found to be low in physicians and medical students who live through a rigorous educational period. In this study, we aimed to investigate the frequency, risk factors, and awareness of RLS in medical students and associated sleep problems.

Materials and Methods:

The study was planned as a cross-sectional, analytical study and included third and fourth year medical students. A questionnaire about sociodemographic characteristics, RLS parameters including risk factors, diagnostic criteria, awareness and sleep problems was applied to 354 students in a period of two months. Data were evaluated Chi-square, Fisher Exact Test, Kolmogorov Smirnoff Test, Student's t Test and Mann-Whitney U Test.

Results:

In our study, 39 (11.1%) of the participants fullfilled the diagnostic Criteria A of RLS based on the ICSD-3. Female to male ratio was 1.6:1. RLS symptoms were associated with lower-income and family history (p=0.003, p=0.041). Self-reported symptoms of anxiety and stress as well as functional impairment were associated with RLS (p=0.003, p=0.004). Depression and sleep problems were more frequent in participants experiencing RLS symptoms (p=0.005, p=0,005). Awareness about RLS was observed in those with probable RLS (p=0.003), attending neurology rotation did not affect awareness, and the main source about RLS-related data was reported as web sources.

Conclusions:

In this study, lower income, family history, depression as comorbidity, poor sleep quality, anxiety, stress and daytime dysfunctionality were associated with RLS symptoms. Awareness about RLS was quite low in the medical students. To enhance the diagnosis, treatment and appropriate referrals concerning RLS, awareness should be increased in medical students who are future physicians.

Keywords: Restless legs syndrome, awareness, sleep, medical students, questionnaire

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