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Association between the Epworth Sleepiness Scale and the Multiple Sleep Latency Test in a Clinical Population

Selim R. Benbadis, MD; Edward Mascha, MS; Michael C. Perry, R.EEG.T, RPSGT; Barbara R. Wolgamuth, R.EEG.T; Laurence A. Smolley, MD; and Dudley S. Dinner, MD
[+] Article and Author Information

From the Cleveland Clinic Florida, Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio.


Ann Intern Med. 1999;130(4_Part_1):289-292. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-130-4-199902160-00014
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Background: Excessive daytime sleepiness can be evaluated with both subjective and objective tests.

Objective: To examine the association between Epworth Sleepiness Scale scores and sleep latency on the multiple sleep latency test.

Design: Case series.

Setting: Referral sleep disorders center.

Patients: 102 consecutive patients evaluated for excessive daytime sleepiness.

Measurements: Epworth Sleepiness Scale scores and mean sleep latency on the multiple sleep latency test.

Results: No significant association was seen between Epworth scores and mean sleep latency (Pearson correlation, −0.17 [95% CI, −0.35 to 0.03]; P = 0.09) (analysis of variance, P = 0.13). The mean Epworth score did not differ in three groups of patients who were defined by mean sleep latency as having normal sleep latency (>10 minutes), moderate sleep latency (5 to 10 minutes), or severe sleep latency (<5 minutes) (analysis of variance, P = 0.13).

Conclusions: No statistically or clinically significant association was seen between Epworth scores and mean sleep latency. The subjective Epworth Sleepiness Scale and the objective multiple sleep latency test may evaluate different, complementary aspects of sleepiness.

Figures

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Figure.
Distribution of Epworth Sleepiness Scale scores for the three sleep latency levels with side-by-side box plots.

The top and bottom of each box are the 75th and 25th percentiles (quartiles) of the data, respectively. The middle line denotes the median. Box whiskers extend to data points that are within 1.5 interquartile ranges of the box.

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Appendix Figure. Each question is answered with a number from 0 (not at all likely to fall asleep) to 3 (very likely to fall asleep). This yields a total score of 0 (minimum) to 24 (maximum).
The Epworth Sleepiness Scale.
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