Background: Pediatric obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a prevalent but under-diagnosed disease. The importance of screening for OSA has been emphasized in the recently published guidelines for the diagnosis and management of childhood OSA. Several pediatric OSA questionnaires are available, but are complicated to use or not sensitive enough for screening.
Methods: In this study we developed an 8-item (IF SLEEPY) screening tool for pediatric OSA. One hundred and fifty children referred for evaluation at a pediatric sleep clinic and their parents completed the questionnaire and had a polysomnography. Two further questionnaires were developed: I SLEEPY and I'M SLEEPY versions. The questionnaires' scores were compared to the apnea hypopnea index (AHI) and the validity of each questionnaire was evaluated.
Results: The I'M SLEEPY version was found to have the highest sensitivity (82%) and a modest specificity (50%) for OSA diagnosis.
Conclusion: I'M SLEEPY is a sensitive and easy-to-use screening tool for pediatric OSA. It is intended to be used by the primary physician in every suspected case of OSA. Larger studies are needed in the primary care setting for the validation of this tool.
Keywords: Diagnosis; Obstructive sleep apnea; Pediatrics; Polysomnography; Sleep disorders.
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