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Open Access Research article

Excessive daytime sleepiness assessed by the Epworth Sleepiness Scale and its association with health related quality of life: a population-based study in China

Shunquan Wu, Rui Wang, Xiuqiang Ma, Yanfang Zhao, Xiaoyan Yan and Jia He*

Author Affiliations

Department of Health Statistics, Second Military Medical University, 800 of XiangYin Road, Shanghai 200433, China

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BMC Public Health 2012, 12:849  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-849

Published: 8 October 2012

Abstract

Background

Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) is a common condition worldwide that has many negative effects on people who were afflicted with it, especially on their health-related quality of life (HRQOL). The Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) is a commonly used method for evaluating EDS in English-speaking countries. This paper reported the prevalence of subjective EDS in China as assessed by the Mandarin version of the ESS; tested the scale’s response rate, reliability and validity; and investigated the relationship between ESS scores and HRQOL.

Methods

A population-based sample of 3600 residents was selected randomly in five cities in China. The demographic information was collected, subjective EDS was assessed by the Mandarin version of the ESS (ESS scores >10), and HRQOL was evaluated by the Mandarin version of the 36-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36).

Results

The Mandarin version of ESS had very few missing responses, and the average response rate of its eight items was 97.92%. The split-half reliability coefficient and Cronbach’s α coefficient were 0.81 and 0.80, respectively. One factor was identified by factor analysis with an eigenvalue of 2.78. The ESS scores showed positive skewness in the selected sample, with a median (Q1, Q3) of 6 (3, 0). 644 (22.16%) respondents reported subjective EDS, and all of the scores of the eight dimensions of the SF-36 were negatively correlated with ESS scores.

Conclusions

The Mandarin version of ESS is an acceptable, reliable, and valid tool for measuring EDS. In addition, subjective EDS is common in China, based on the ESS results, and impairs HRQOL.

Keywords:
Excessive daytime sleepiness; Mandarin; Epworth Sleepiness Scale; Health-related quality of life