Assessing psychometric properties of the PROMIS Sleep Disturbance Scale in older adults in independent-living and continuing care retirement communities

Sleep Health. 2019 Feb;5(1):18-22. doi: 10.1016/j.sleh.2018.09.003. Epub 2018 Oct 28.


Purpose: Sleep disturbances are associated with poor health outcomes in older adults. The Patient-Reported Outcomes Information System (PROMIS) Sleep Disturbance Scale was designed to assess self-reported general sleep and sleep disturbance. The objective of this study was to validate the short-form PROMIS Sleep Disturbance Scale for use among older adults living in independent-living and continuing care retirement communities.

Methods: Older adults (N = 307) were recruited from retirement communities in San Diego, CA, to participate in a physical activity intervention. Study participants were on average 83.6 years (SD 6.4) and predominately female (72.3%). Self-reported health outcomes included sleep disturbance, depressive symptoms, quality of life, stress, and pain. Internal consistency of the PROMIS Sleep Disturbance Scale was determined using Cronbach α, individual item means, and interitem correlations. Construct validity was examined using exploratory factor analysis techniques. Adjusted linear regression models assessed the predictive validity of the Sleep Disturbance Scale and associations with health outcomes.

Results: The PROMIS Sleep Disturbance Scale had a Cronbach α = .856 and an interitem correlation of .504. All items loaded on 1 sole factor. Additionally, the sleep scale was significantly predictive of depressive symptoms, stress, and quality of life at 12 months.

Conclusions: The PROMIS 6-item Sleep Disturbance Scale had acceptable internal consistency and strong construct validity among a sample of elderly older adults in an independent-living community setting. These findings suggest that the PROMIS scale may provide an accurate assessment of sleep disturbance in older adults. Additional validation testing using objective measures of sleep is needed to confirm these findings further.

Keywords: Older adults; Psychometrics; Sleep disturbances; Validation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Housing for the Elderly
  • Humans
  • Independent Living
  • Male
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*