Development, validation (diagnostic accuracy) and audit of the Auckland Sleep Questionnaire: a new tool for diagnosing causes of sleep disorders in primary care

J Prim Health Care. 2011 Jun 1;3(2):107-13.


Introduction: Sleep disorders are common in the community and in primary care populations. Epidemiological surveys generally report insomnia rather than specific diagnoses.

Aim: Our aim was to develop a questionnaire that could diagnose common sleep disorders in primary care in order to be able to make a diagnosis of primary insomnia by excluding other causes. Having created such a questionnaire, we then validated it (assessed the diagnostic accuracy).

Methods: The questionnaire was developed from the International Classification of Sleep Disorders using the criteria to create operational criteria. This was used in a primary care survey. A sub-sample of 36 primary care patients (aged over 15 years) was chosen to give a spectrum of disorders. A second sample of 85 patients was taken from a sleep disorder private practice to act as an extra test of validity.

Results: The response rate was 73% (36/49) for the primary care validation. The sensitivity and specificity of primary insomnia was 0.78 and 0.77, mood disorders 0.67 and 0.97, obstructive sleep apnoea 0.8 and 0.94, delayed sleep phase disorder was 0.8 and 0.97 and for health problems affecting sleep 0.92 and 0.76. There were a wider range of findings in the private practice audit.

Discussion: The validity of the Auckland Sleep Questionnaire is promising. The second version of the questionnaire will use this study to improve its functionality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • International Classification of Diseases
  • Male
  • Medical Audit*
  • Middle Aged
  • Mood Disorders / diagnosis
  • Primary Health Care / methods
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / diagnosis
  • Sleep Disorders, Circadian Rhythm / diagnosis
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / diagnosis
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / etiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Young Adult