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Free Content Measurement properties and hierarchical item structure of the Epworth Sleepiness Scale in Parkinson's disease

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The aim of this work was to evaluate the measurement properties and hierarchical item structure of the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). Data were taken from a cross-sectional study regarding fatigue and sleep-related aspects of PD. One hundred and eighteen consecutive patients with neurologist-diagnosed PD without significant co-morbidities (54% men; mean age, 64 years; mean PD duration, 8.4 years) from four Swedish neurological outpatient clinics participated. The ESS displayed good data quality with few missing items (0–2.5%): good reliability (Cronbach's alpha, 0.84), marginal floor and no ceiling effects (1.7% and 0% respectively), and differentiated between those reporting problems staying awake during the past month and those who did not. Item–total correlations, factor and Rasch analyses indicated that items tap a single underlying construct. Rasch analysis supported basic rating scale assumptions and demonstrated an item hierarchy similar to that previously found in patients with other sleep disorders. Gaps in the levels of sleep propensity covered by ESS items and their response options were identified at the higher and lower ends of the underlying sleepiness continuum. This study provides an evidence base for using the ESS in PD by demonstrating good psychometric properties and a stable hierarchical item structure. However, addition of new items and use of Rasch scoring has potential to further enhance the clinical usefulness of the ESS.

Keywords: Epworth Sleepiness Scale; Parkinson's disease; Rasch analysis; excessive daytime sleepiness; reliability; validity

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Uppsala University, University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden

Publication date: March 1, 2007

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