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1.  The relative efficacy of two brief treatments for sleep problems in young learning disabled (mentally retarded) children: a randomised controlled trial 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  2004;89(2):125-130.
Background: Settling and night waking problems are particularly prevalent, persistent, and generally considered difficult to treat in children with a learning disability, although intervention trials are few. Scarce resources, however, limit access to proven behavioural treatments.
Aims: To investigate the efficacy of a media based brief behavioural treatment of sleep problems in such children by comparing (1) face-to-face delivered treatment versus control and (2) booklet delivered treatment versus controls.
Methods: The parents of 66 severely learning disabled children aged 2–8 years with settling and/or night waking problems took part in a randomised controlled trial with a wait-list control group. Behavioural treatments were presented either conventionally face-to-face or by means of a 14 page easy to read illustrated booklet. A composite sleep disturbance score was derived from sleep diaries kept by parents.
Results: Both forms of treatment were almost equally effective compared with controls. Two thirds of children who were taking over 30 minutes to settle five or more times per week and waking at night for over 30 minutes four or more times per week improved on average to having such settling or night waking problems for only a few minutes or only once or twice per week (H = 34.174, df = 2, p<0.001). These improvements were maintained after six months.
Conclusions: Booklet delivered behavioural treatments for sleep problems were as effective as face-to-face treatment for most children in this population.
doi:10.1136/adc.2002.017202
PMCID: PMC1719807  PMID: 14736626
2.   
doi:10.1136/adc.82.3.272a
PMCID: PMC1718225
3.  Clinical services for sleep disorders 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  1998;79(6):495-497.
Children's sleep disorders are common and often harmful to development and well being. The clinical services available to affected children and their families need to be improved. At present, professional interest and expertise in sleep disorders medicine is severely limited by the paucity of appropriate teaching and training. The work of a mainly tertiary sleep disorders clinic was reviewed, which showed that accurate diagnosis of a wide range of sleep disorders is possible, and that treatment needs can be specified. Although families appreciated such assessment, the outcome was unsatisfactory in many cases, often because treatment recommendations were not implemented by referrers. Reasons for this appear to include poor communication between referrers and families, and unavailability of treatment resources. A three tier system of service provision is proposed to improve this situation, which rests essentially on better professional training in the sleep disorders field.


PMCID: PMC1717769  PMID: 10210993
4.  Sleep and psychological disturbance in nocturnal asthma 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  1998;78(5):413-419.
Subjective and objective sleep disturbance was studied in children with nocturnal asthma. Relations between such disturbance and daytime psychological function were also explored, including possible changes in learning and behaviour associated with improvements in nocturnal asthma and sleep. Assessments included home polysomnography, parental questionnaires concerning sleep disturbance, behaviour, and mood and cognitive testing. Compared with matched controls, children with asthma had significantly more disturbed sleep, tended to have more psychological problems, and they performed less well on some tests of memory and concentration. In general, improvement of nocturnal asthma symptoms by changes in treatment was followed by improvement in sleep and psychological function in subsequent weeks. The effects of asthma on sleep and the possible psychological consequences are important aspects of overall care.


PMCID: PMC1717552  PMID: 9659086
5.  Evaluation of the BBL Crystal Anaerobe identification system. 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1997;35(12):3186-3191.
The BBL Crystal Anaerobe (ANR) identification system was evaluated, and the results were compared with those from conventional anaerobic methods. We tested 322 clinically significant anaerobic bacteria according to the manufacturer's instructions. The system identified correctly 286 of 322 (88.8%) of the anaerobic bacteria tested. Of these, 263 of 322 (81.7%) were identified correctly on initial testing and 49 were identified correctly only to the genus level; on repeat testing, 23 of 49 (46.9%) were identified correctly to both the genus and the species levels. A total of 26 (8.5%) were misidentified at the species level, and 10 (3.1%) were not identified. Performance characteristics for individual strains varied. The system correctly identified all tested strains of Campylobacter, Desulfomonas, Desulfovibrio, Leptotrichia, Mobiluncus, Peptostreptococcus, Porphyromonas, Provetella, Propionibacterium, Tisierella, and Veillonella and 36 of 37 (97.3%) Actinomyces strains, 42 of 46 (91.3%) B. fragilis group strains, 79 of 103 (76.7%) Clostridium strains, (however, the system failed to identify any of the 7 C. innocuum and 9 C. tetani strains tested), and 8 of 15 (53.3%) Bacteroides strains. This system was easy to use, did not involve the addition of reagents, and was faster than conventional anaerobic procedures. It would be a useful addition to the anaerobe laboratory of most hospitals.
PMCID: PMC230145  PMID: 9399517
6.  Evaluation of AnaeroGen system for growth of anaerobic bacteria. 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1995;33(9):2388-2391.
The Oxoid AnaeroGen system was compared with the BBL GasPak for the production of an anaerobic atmosphere and was evaluated for its ability to support the growth of 135 clinically significant anaerobic bacteria. An anaerobe chamber was used as the "gold standard" for supporting the growth of anaerobes. The AnaeroGen requires no catalyst, produces no hydrogen, requires no water, and reduces preparation time to a minimum. The water-activated BBL GasPak generates hydrogen. For 132 of the 135 strains tested, better initial growth at 48 h was noted for the jar methods than for the anaerobe chamber. At 72 h, 113 of the 135 strains showed equal growth, and at 7 days, only marginal differences in growth patterns were noted. The AnaeroGen never failed to reduce the anaerobic indicator, while the BBL GasPak occasionally failed to do so. The AnaeroGen performed at least as well as, and sometimes better than, the established methods. The AnaeroGen is a good alternative for use in anaerobic jars.
PMCID: PMC228418  PMID: 7494033
7.  Use of Presumpto Plates to identify anaerobic bacteria. 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1995;33(5):1196-1202.
Identification of anaerobic bacteria requires special media and growth conditions that contribute to a higher cost per identification than that for aerobic isolates. Newer rapid methods streamline the identification process, but confirmation to the species level is often difficult. The Presumpto Plate method for the identification of commonly encountered anaerobes consists of three quadrant plates, each containing four conventional media, that result in the generation of 21 test parameters: growth on Lombard-Dowell medium; production of indole, indole derivative, catalase, lecithinase, and lipase; proteolysis of milk, H2S, and esculin; growth on 20% bile; precipitate on bile; DNase, glucose, casein, starch, and gelatin hydrolysis; and fermentation of lactose, mannitol, and rhamnose. Identification charts were developed by using the results from 2,300 anaerobic isolates. Because conventional media were used, there was a high degree of agreement between the Presumpto Plate method and the reference method when testing commonly encountered anaerobes. The Presumpto Plate method is as accurate as commercially available enzyme systems for the identification of many anaerobic species but is less expensive to perform.
PMCID: PMC228130  PMID: 7615728
8.  Evaluation of API An-IDENT and RapID ANA II systems for identification of Actinomyces species from clinical specimens. 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1995;33(2):329-330.
We compared the accuracy of the An-IDENT system (bioMerieux Vitek, Inc., Hazelwood, Mo.) and the RapID ANA II system (Innovative Diagnostic Systems, Norcross, Ga.) with that of conventional biochemical tests for the identification of 85 strains of Actinomyces species. In our hands, the overall accuracy of the An-IDENT was 59% and that of the RapID ANA II was 24%. The error rate for the An-IDENT was 18% and that for the RapID ANA II was 38%. The results of this study suggest that although the An-IDENT was more accurate than the RapID ANA II (P < 0.005), neither system, in our hands, was able to identify Actinomyces species with an acceptable degree of accuracy. It is recommended that suspected Actinomyces isolates be identified by conventional testing.
PMCID: PMC227942  PMID: 7714187
9.  Melatonin for sleep problems in children with neurodevelopmental disorders: randomised double masked placebo controlled trial 
Objective To assess the effectiveness and safety of melatonin in treating severe sleep problems in children with neurodevelopmental disorders.
Design 12 week double masked randomised placebo controlled phase III trial.
Setting 19 hospitals across England and Wales.
Participants 146 children aged 3 years to 15 years 8 months were randomised. They had a range of neurological and developmental disorders and a severe sleep problem that had not responded to a standardised sleep behaviour advice booklet provided to parents four to six weeks before randomisation. A sleep problem was defined as the child not falling asleep within one hour of lights out or having less than six hours’ continuous sleep.
Interventions Immediate release melatonin or matching placebo capsules administered 45 minutes before the child’s bedtime for a period of 12 weeks. All children started with a 0.5 mg capsule, which was increased through 2 mg, 6 mg, and 12 mg depending on their response to treatment.
Main outcome measures Total sleep time at night after 12 weeks adjusted for baseline recorded in sleep diaries completed by the parent. Secondary outcomes included sleep onset latency, assessments of child behaviour, family functioning, and adverse events. Sleep was measured with diaries and actigraphy.
Results Melatonin increased total sleep time by 22.4 minutes (95% confidence interval 0.5 to 44.3 minutes) measured by sleep diaries (n=110) and 13.3 (−15.5 to 42.2) measured by actigraphy (n=59). Melatonin reduced sleep onset latency measured by sleep diaries (−37.5 minutes, −55.3 to −19.7 minutes) and actigraphy (−45.3 minutes, −68.8 to −21.9 minutes) and was most effective for children with the longest sleep latency (P=0.009). Melatonin was associated with earlier waking times than placebo (29.9 minutes, 13.6 to 46.3 minutes). Child behaviour and family functioning outcomes showed some improvement and favoured use of melatonin. Adverse events were mild and similar between the two groups.
Conclusions Children gained little additional sleep on melatonin; though they fell asleep significantly faster, waking times became earlier. Child behaviour and family functioning outcomes did not significantly improve. Melatonin was tolerable over this three month period. Comparisons with slow release melatonin preparations or melatonin analogues are required.
Trial registration ISRCT No 05534585.
doi:10.1136/bmj.e6664
PMCID: PMC3489506  PMID: 23129488

Results 1-9 (9)