Validation of the Mayo Sleep Questionnaire to screen for REM sleep behavior disorder in a community-based sample

J Clin Sleep Med. 2013 May 15;9(5):475-80. doi: 10.5664/jcsm.2670.


Objective: To validate a questionnaire focused on REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) in a community-based sample.

Background: RBD is a parasomnia manifested by recurrent dream enactment behavior during REM sleep. While confirmation of RBD requires the presence of REM sleep without atonia on polysomnography (PSG), a screening measure for RBD validated in older adults would be desirable for clinical and research purposes.

Methods: We had previously developed the Mayo Sleep Questionnaire (MSQ) to screen for the presence of RBD and other sleep disorders. We assessed the validity of the MSQ by comparing the responses of subjects' bed partners with the findings on PSG. All subjects recruited from 10/04 to 12/08 in the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging--a population-based study of aging in Olmsted County, Minnesota--who had also undergone a previous PSG were the focus of this analysis.

Results: The study sample included 128 subjects (104 male; median age 77 years [range 67-90]), with the following clinical diagnoses at baseline assessment: normal (n = 95), mild cognitive impairment (n = 30), and mild Alzheimer disease (n = 3). Nine (5%) subjects had RBD based on history and PSG evidence of REM sleep without atonia. The core question on recurrent dream enactment behavior yielded sensitivity (SN) of 100% and specificity (SP) of 95% for the diagnosis of RBD. The profile of responses on four additional subquestions on RBD improved specificity.

Conclusions: These data suggest that the MSQ has adequate SN and SP for the diagnosis of RBD among elderly subjects in a community-based sample.

Keywords: Alzheimer disease; Sleep disorders; dementia; dementia with Lewy bodies; parasomnias; parkinsonism.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minnesota
  • Polysomnography / methods
  • REM Sleep Behavior Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*