Background: Insomnia is a prevalent health complaint that is often difficult to evaluate reliably. There is an important need for brief and valid assessment tools to assist practitioners in the clinical evaluation of insomnia complaints.Objective: This paper reports on the clinical validation of the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) as a brief screening measure of insomnia and as an outcome measure in treatment research. The psychometric properties (internal consistency, concurrent validity, factor structure) of the ISI were evaluated in two samples of insomnia patients.Methods: The first study examined the internal consistency and concurrent validity of the ISI in 145 patients evaluated for insomnia at a sleep disorders clinic. Data from the ISI were compared to those of a sleep diary measure. In the second study, the concurrent validity of the ISI was evaluated in a sample of 78 older patients who participated in a randomized-controlled trial of behavioral and pharmacological therapies for insomnia. Change scores on the ISI over time were compared with those obtained from sleep diaries and polysomnography. Comparisons were also made between ISI scores obtained from patients, significant others, and clinicians.Results: The results of Study 1 showed that the ISI has adequate internal consistency and is a reliable self-report measure to evaluate perceived sleep difficulties. The results from Study 2 also indicated that the ISI is a valid and sensitive measure to detect changes in perceived sleep difficulties with treatment. In addition, there is a close convergence between scores obtained from the ISI patient's version and those from the clinician's and significant other's versions.Conclusions: The present findings indicate that the ISI is a reliable and valid instrument to quantify perceived insomnia severity. The ISI is likely to be a clinically useful tool as a screening device or as an outcome measure in insomnia treatment research.