Open Access Research article

Translation and validation of Berlin questionnaire in primary health care in Greece

Izolde Bouloukaki1*, Ioannis D Komninos2, Charalampos Mermigkis1, Katerina Micheli3, Maria Komninou2, Violeta Moniaki1, Eleni Mauroudi1, Nikolaos M Siafakas1 and Sophia E Schiza1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Thoracic Medicine, Sleep Disorders Unit, University of Crete, Heraklion, Crete, Greece

2 Vrachasi Practice, General Hospital/Health Centre of Neapolis, Heraklion, Crete, Greece

3 Department of Social Medicine, University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Pulmonary Medicine 2013, 13:6  doi:10.1186/1471-2466-13-6

Published: 24 January 2013



The aim of our study was to validate a Greek translation of the Berlin Questionnaire (BQ) for obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS) and to explore whether this screening questionnaire could be used to help identify primary care patients at greater risk of having OSAS.


We recruited 189 patients visiting a primary health care setting on the island of Crete, Greece. They all completed the Greek Version of the BQ. Patients were then referred to a Sleep Disorders Unit for evaluation of suspected sleep-disordered breathing.


A PSG study was performed in 129 of the 189 subjects (68.3%). BQ identified 74.4% (n = 96) of the patients as high-risk for OSAS and the remaining 25.6% (n = 33) as low-risk. The sensitivity and specificity of BQ for OSAS diagnosis were 76% and 40%, respectively, for an apnoea–hypopnoea index (AHI) ≥5 per hour but <15 per hour, 84% and 61% for an AHI ≥15 per hour but ≤30 per hour, and 79% and 39% for an AHI >30 per hour.


In conclusion, the Greek Version of the BQ is a useful instrument for identifying patients at risk for OSAS in primary health care in Greece. The findings of our study confirm that such screening tools should be used by primary care clinicians for OSAS prediction.

Berlin questionnaire; Obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome; Primary care patients; Screening tool; Greece; validation