- Explain to interested patients that previous studies have linked sleep disordered breathing to children's behavior.
- Caution patients that the study was relatively small and relied on caregivers' subjective reports of behavior and sleep without a randomized control group for comparison and cannot prove causality.
KANSAS CITY, Kan., Oct. 15 - Adenotonsillectomy for kids who snore may improve not only sleep quality but also behavior, researchers here found.
Children who underwent surgery for sleep disordered breathing had a clinically significant improvement averaging about one standard deviation for oppositional behavior, inattention, and hyperactivity (all P<0.001), reported Julie L. Wei, M.D., of the University of Kansas here, and colleagues, in the October issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology--Head & Neck Surgery.
These parental survey findings at six months after surgery were also maintained over three years, Dr. Wei said in an interview.
"While you cannot say the adenoidectomy and tonsillectomy directly translates into behavioral change, it does so through improving sleep," she said. "Quality of sleep and everything about sleep in a child can significantly influence their daytime behavior."
Although the findings support a cause-and-effect relationship between sleep disordered breathing and development of behavioral problems, Dr. Wei and colleagues cautioned that part of the benefits could have been due to caregivers' expectations for improvement.