The epworth sleepiness scale: Conventional self vs physician administration

Mario Francesco Damiani, Vitaliano Nicola Quaranta, Vito Antonio Falcone, Felice Gadaleta, Michele Maiellari, Teresa Ranieri, Francesco Fanfulla, Pierluigi Carratù, Onofrio Resta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) is a simple, self-administered questionnaire that provides a measurement of the subject's level of daytime sleepiness, and is widely used for patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Some works undermined its accuracy. The aim of this study was to compare self-administered ESS scores to physician-administered scores in a sample of patients with suspicion of OSA. Methods: Patients were randomly divided into two groups: group 1, or the self-administered group (n = 113); and group 2, or the physician-administered group (n = 112). Patients in group 1 were asked to complete the ESS in the traditional way; in group 2, the ESS was administered by a sleep-medicine physician. Subjects in both groups underwent diagnostic in-laboratory portable monitoring (PM) within 1 week's time. Results: The percentage of questionnaires properly completed was significantly different between groups: 77% (87 of 113) in the group 1 vs 100% (112 of 112) in the group 2 (P =.00). Scores obtained when a physician administered the questionnaire (ESSp) were higher than those when the ESS was self administered (ESSs) (ESSp:12.09 ± 4.1 vs ESSs:10.37 ± 5.49; P =.01). The ESSp was more highly correlated with apnea-hypopnea index and oxygen desaturation index than the ESSs. Conclusions: Our results lead us to consider the physician-administered ESS to be more accurate than the traditional ESS; thus, our suggestion is to validate this new method of administration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1569-1575
Number of pages7
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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