Validation of a Korean version of the insomnia severity index

J Clin Neurol. 2014 Jul;10(3):210-5. doi: 10.3988/jcn.2014.10.3.210. Epub 2014 Jul 3.


Background and purpose: The purposes of this study were to standardize and validate a Korean version of the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI-K), and to evaluate its clinical usefulness.

Methods: We translated the ISI into Korean and then translated it back into English to check its accuracy. The 614 patients with sleep disorders who were enrolled in this study comprised 169 with primary insomnia, 133 with comorbid insomnia, and 312 with obstructive sleep apnea. All subjects underwent one night of polysomnography (PSG) and completed the Korean versions of both the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI-K) and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, as well as the ISI-K. The ISI-K was compared to these sleep scales and various PSG sleep parameters.

Results: The internal consistency the ISI-K total score was confirmed by a Cronbach's alpha of 0.92, and the item-to-total-score correlations (item-total correlations) ranged from 0.65 to 0.84, suggesting adequate reliability. The correlation between the ISI-K total score and PSQI-K was 0.84, which suggested adequate convergent validity. Low-to-moderate correlations were obtained between the ISI-K total score and PSG-defined sleep parameters: 0.22 for sleep onset latency, 0.38 for wake after sleep onset, and 0.46 for sleep efficiency. A cutoff score of 15.5 on the ISI-K was optimal for discriminating patients with insomnia. The test-retest scores over a 4-week interval with 34 subjects yielded a correlation coefficient of 0.86, suggesting excellent temporal stability.

Conclusions: The findings of this study show that the ISI-K is a reliable and valid instrument for assessing the severity of insomnia in a Korean population.

Keywords: insomnia; reliability; sleep; validity.