In recent years, polysomnography-based eligibility criteria have been increasingly used to identify candidates for insomnia research, and this has been particularly true of studies evaluating pharmacologic therapy for primary insomnia. However, the sensitivity and specificity of PSG for identifying individuals with insomnia is unknown, and there is no consensus on the criteria sets which should be used for participant selection. In the current study, an archival data set was used to test the sensitivity and specificity of PSG measures for identifying individuals with primary insomnia in both home and lab settings. We then evaluated the sensitivity and specificity of the eligibility criteria employed in a number of recent insomnia trials for identifying primary insomnia sufferers in our sample.
Archival data analysis.
Study participants' homes and a clinical sleep laboratory.
Adults: 76 with primary insomnia and 78 non-complaining normal sleepers.
Measurements and Results:
ROC and cross-tabs analyses were used to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of PSG-derived total sleep time, latency to persistent sleep, wake after sleep onset, and sleep efficiency for discriminating adults with primary insomnia from normal sleepers. None of the individual criteria accurately discriminated PI from normal sleepers, and none of the criteria sets used in recent trials demonstrated acceptable sensitivity and specificity for identifying primary insomnia.
The use of quantitative PSG-based selection criteria in insomnia research may exclude many who meet current diagnostic criteria for an insomnia disorder.
Edinger JD; Ulmer CS; Means MK. Sensitivity and specificity of polysomnographic criteria for defining insomnia. J Clin Sleep Med 2013;9(5):481-491.