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Evaluation of a screening interview for restless legs syndrome

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Bourguet CC, Ober SK, Panzner MP, Baughman KR. Evaluation of a screening interview for restless legs syndrome.

Acta Neurol Scand 2009: 120: 24–29.

Journal compilation © 2008 Blackwell Munksgaard. No claim to original US government works. Objectives – 

We evaluated a fully structured interview for restless legs syndrome (RLS) for potential use in primary care settings and in epidemiological research. Methods – 

Seventy-four veterans were recruited at Veterans Affairs outpatient clinics. The interview was administered telephonically by trained non-clinicians (time 1) and readministered face to face (time 2). A physician conducted gold standard examinations. We calculated sensitivity, specificity and reproducibility. Results – 

Reproducibility was low (κ = 0.34, P < 0.01), but was higher for interviews repeated within 1 year (κ = 0.55, P < 0.01). Including those reporting ≥3 symptoms as cases, sensitivity ranged from 63% (time 1) to 75% (time 2). Specificity ranged from 88% to 71%. Conclusions – 

The sensitivity and specificity reported here are lower than previously reported in specialty care. This interview for RLS might be useful for preliminary screening of patients with related complaints if followed by additional diagnostic maneuvers or might be used in observational epidemiological research.

Keywords: diagnostic tests; epidemiological research; reproducibility; restless legs syndrome; sensitivity and specificity; telephone interviews

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Community Health Sciences, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, Rootstown, OH, USA 2: Community Outpatient Services, Louis B. Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Cleveland, OH, USA

Publication date: July 1, 2009


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