Objectives: Sleep disorders remain largely undiagnosed in the general population. The current study assessed whether the Global Sleep Assessment Questionnaire (GSAQ) could: (1), distinguish between sleep disorders (including no sleep disorder); (2), be a reliable and valid sleep disorder screener; and (3), serve as a practical, user-friendly screening tool for primary care and sleep centers.
Methods: Two hundred and twelve adults from five sleep centers and two primary care clinics completed the GSAQ and received confirmed diagnoses from a sleep specialist. Of the 212 patients, 139 (65.6%) had at least one sleep disorder, 60 (28.3%) had two or more sleep disorders, and 13 (6.1%) had no confirmed sleep disorder. Ninety-one (43%) individuals completed the GSAQ a second time for reliability testing. Scores for each sleep disorder including, but not limited to, primary insomnia (I), insomnia associated with a mental disorder (IME), obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), periodic limb movement (PLM), and parasomnia (P) were computed. The sensitivity and specificity were estimated using comprehensive clinical diagnosis as the gold standard and mean domain scores as a cutpoint.
Results: The mean participant age was 45 years, 52% were female. Observed frequencies were: 36 (I), 14 (IME), 31 (OSA), 7 (PLM) and 4% (P). Test-retest reliability ranged from 0.51 to 0.92. Pearson correlation coefficients suggested that the GSAQ discriminated between diagnoses. The sensitivities and specificities were 79/57, 83/51, 93/58, 93/52, and 100/49 for I, IME, OSA, PLM, and P, respectively.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the GSAQ can aid in recognizing sleep disorders. Future studies should focus on characterizing its predictive values in primary care settings.