Systematic Item Content and Overlap Analysis of Self-Reported Multiple Sleep Disorder Screening Questionnaires in Adults

Christophe Gauld, Vincent P. Martin, Alexandre Richaud, Sébastien Baillieul, Lucie Vicente, Jean Lorrain Perromat, Issa Zreik, Jacques Taillard, Pierre Alexis Geoffroy, Régis Lopez, Jean Arthur Micoulaud-Franchi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Sleep disorders are defined on the basis of diagnostic criteria presented in medical classifications. However, no consensus has emerged on the exact list of operational symptoms that should be systematically investigated in the field of sleep medicine. We propose a systematic analysis of sleep symptoms that figure in a set of self-reported multiple sleep disorder screening questionnaires for adult populations, to identify the content overlap of symptoms that probe the presence of central sleep symptoms, and to highlight the potential level of heterogeneity among sleep disorder questionnaires. The method comprises three steps: (i) the selection of self-reported multiple sleep disorder screening questionnaires; (ii) item extraction and selection; (iii) the extraction of symptoms from items. Frequency of sleep symptoms and content overlap (Jaccard Index) are analyzed. We extracted 469 items that provide 60 different symptoms from 12 questionnaires. Insomnia, somnolence, and sleep-related breathing symptoms were found in all the questionnaires. The mean overlap among all questionnaires evaluated with the Jaccard Index is 0.44, i.e., moderate similarity. Despite limitations related to the selection of questionnaires and the symptom extraction and harmonization, this study underlines the need to standardize sleep symptom contents for sleep medicine in order to enhance the practicability, reliability, and validity of sleep disorder diagnoses.

Original languageEnglish
Article number852
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • content analysis
  • questionnaires
  • sleep disorders
  • sleep symptoms
  • symptom overlap


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