Background: There is a dearth of sleep questionnaires with few items and confirmed reliability and validity that can be used for the early detection of sleep problems in children. The aim of this study was to develop a questionnaire with few items and assess its reliability and validity in both children at high risk of sleep disorders and a community population.
Methods: Data for analysis were derived from two populations targeted by the Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire (CSHQ): 178 children attending elementary school and 432 children who visited a pediatric psychiatric hospital (aged 6-12 years). The new questionnaire was constructed as a subset of the CSHQ.
Results: The newly developed short version of the sleep questionnaire for children (19 items) had an acceptable internal consistency (0.65). Using the cutoff value of the CSHQ, the total score of the new questionnaire was confirmed to have discriminant validity (27.2 ± 3.9 vs. 22.0 ± 2.1, p < 0.001) and yielded a sensitivity of 0.83 and specificity of 0.78 by receiver operator characteristic curve analysis. Total score of the new questionnaire was significantly correlated with total score (r = 0.81, p < 0.001) and each subscale score (r = 0.29-0.65, p < 0.001) of the CSHQ.
Conclusions: The new questionnaire demonstrated an adequate reliability and validity in both high-risk children and a community population, as well as similar screening ability to the CSHQ. It could thus be a convenient instrument to detect sleep problems in children.
Keywords: Children; Reliability; Sleep problems; Sleep questionnaire; Validity.