Objective: The Epworth sleepiness scale (ESS) is widely used to measure the subject's average sleep propensity across those different situations in daily life, particularly in patients with sleep-disordered breathing. The purposes of this study were to test the hypothesis that the Korean version of the ESS (KESS) is valid and evaluate its usefulness.
Materials and methods: We developed the KESS, which involved translating into Korean and then translating back into English to check its accuracy. A total of 273 participants (181 obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)-37 mild, 61 moderate, 83 severe, 32 simple snoring and 60 normal) were included in this study. All subjects completed the overnight polysomnograph and 53 of the total subjects were randomly selected for a retest with the questionnaire approximately 2∼4 weeks later. The associations between KESS and the degree of OSA were examined through ANCOVA, adjusted for age, sex and BMI.
Results: The total score and each item's score of KESS in patients with OSA were significantly higher than subjects with normal controls (p < 0.01). As the severity of OSA increased, the KESS showed significantly increasing patterns (p for trend <0.01). The KESS in patient groups showed good internal consistency (Cronbach's α = 0.90) and test-retest reliability (r = 0.78 to 0.93).
Conclusion: The KESS is a reliable and valid tool for screening patients with daytime sleepiness in Korea.