Pediatric Sleep Tools: An Updated Literature Review

Front Psychiatry. 2020 Apr 23:11:317. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2020.00317. eCollection 2020.


Since a thorough review in 2011 by Spruyt, into the integral pitfalls of pediatric questionnaires in sleep, sleep researchers worldwide have further evaluated many existing tools. This systematic review aims to comprehensively evaluate and summarize the tools currently in circulation and provide recommendations for potential evolving avenues of pediatric sleep interest. 144 "tool"-studies (70 tools) have been published aiming at investigating sleep in primarily 6-18 years old per parental report. Although 27 new tools were discovered, most of the studies translated or evaluated the psychometric properties of existing tools. Some form of normative values has been established in 18 studies. More than half of the tools queried general sleep problems. Extra efforts in tool development are still needed for tools that assess children outside the 6-to-12-year-old age range, as well as for tools examining sleep-related aspects beyond sleep problems/disorders. Especially assessing the validity of tools has been pursued vis-à-vis fulfillment of psychometric criteria. While the Spruyt et al. review provided a rigorous step-by-step guide into the development and validation of such tools, a pattern of steps continue to be overlooked. As these instruments are potentially valuable in assisting in the development of a clinical diagnosis into pediatric sleep pathologies, it is required that while they are primary subjective measures, they behave as objective measures. More tools for specific populations (e.g., in terms of ages, developmental disabilities, and sleep pathologies) are still needed.

Keywords: child; questionnaire; review; sleep duration; sleep hygiene; sleep quality.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review