Might the Berlin Sleep Questionnaire applied to bed partners be used to screen sleep apneic patients?

Sleep Med. 2010 May;11(5):479-83. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2010.01.007. Epub 2010 Apr 3.


Objective: While the Berlin Sleep Questionnaire (BSQ) was developed to identify patients at high risk of having sleep apnea, assessment can be difficult in patients suffering from impaired cognitive functions (i.e., stroke patients). We therefore created a modified version of the questionnaire to be used in patients' bed partners to test whether it could give identical results to the original form of BSQ.

Methods: The BSQ was filled in by 90 patients hospitalized in our Sleep Clinic for polysomnographic recording and by 33 healthy control subjects recorded polysomnographically. An adapted version of the BSQ was completed by each bed partner.

Results: Sixty of the 123 subjects had a Respiratory Disturbance Index (RDI)>5 and 49.6% of them were classified as being at high risk of having sleep apnea with both questionnaires. Being in the high-risk group with the self-reported Berlin questionnaire predicted an RDI>15 with a sensitivity of 0.76 and a specificity of 0.61 versus a sensitivity of 0.82 and a specificity of 0.63 with the bed-partner Berlin questionnaire. Being in the high-risk group with the self-reported Berlin questionnaire predicted an RDI>30 with a sensitivity of 0.71 and a specificity of 0.53 versus a sensitivity of 0.79 and a specificity of 0.54 with the bed-partner Berlin questionnaire.

Conclusions: The bed-partner Berlin questionnaire predicts an RDI>15 with a better sensitivity and specificity than the original questionnaire. It could, therefore, be used in bed partners of patients suspected of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome who cannot fill in the self-reported Berlin questionnaire.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cognition Disorders / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Polysomnography
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Factors
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / diagnosis*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / epidemiology*
  • Spouses*
  • Stroke / diagnosis
  • Stroke / epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*