Content analysis of insomnia questionnaires: A step to better evaluate the complex and multifaceted construct of insomnia disorder

Julien Coelho*, Maria Montserrat Sanchez-Ortuño, Vincent P. Martin, Christophe Gauld, Alexandre Richaud, Régis Lopez, Marie Pelou, Poeiti Abi-Saab, Pierre Philip, Pierre Alexis Geoffroy, Laura Palagini, Jean Arthur Micoulaud-Franchi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Insomnia disorder is a mental disorder that includes various types of symptoms (e.g., insomnia initiating, worries, mood disturbances) and impairments (e.g., distress related to sleep alterations). Self-report questionnaires are the most common method for assessing insomnia but no systematic quantified analysis of their content and overlap has been carried out. We used content analysis and a visualization method to better identify the different types of clinical manifestations that are investigated by nine commonly used insomnia questionnaires for adults and the Jaccard index to quantify the degree to which they overlap. Content analysis found and visualized 16 different clinical manifestations classified into five dimensions (“Insomnia symptoms”, “Insomnia-related symptoms”, “Daytime symptoms”, “Insomnia-related impairments”, “Sleep behaviors”). The average Jaccard Index was 0.409 (moderate overlap in content). There is a lack of distinction between symptoms and impairments, and the assessment of sleep duration and hyperarousal symptoms remains overlooked. This preliminary analysis makes it possible to visualize the content of each of the nine questionnaires and to select the most appropriate questionnaire based on the issue to be addressed. Suggestions are made regarding the development of future questionnaires to better distinguish symptoms and impairments, and the different phenotypes of insomnia disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115584
JournalPsychiatry Research
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Content analysis
  • Insomnia
  • Mental disorders
  • Self-report questionnaires
  • Symptom overlap


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