Sleep matters in Parkinson's disease: use of a priority list to assess the presence of sleep disturbances

M. Louter, M.A. van der Marck, D.A.A. Pevernagie, M. Munneke, B.R. Bloem, S. Overeem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Despite their high prevalence and clinical impact, sleep disorders in Parkinson's disease appear to receive insufficient attention in clinical practice. We compared the importance of sleep disorders relative to other symptoms and daily issues. Furthermore, we determined whether relevance as perceived by patients correlated with the subjective presence of sleep disruption scored with a rating scale.

METHODS: We studied a cohort of 153 consecutive patients (95 men) who were referred for problems other than sleep to our referral center. Prior to their visit, patients ranked their individual top five clinical priorities (of 23 items), indicating the most problematic domains for which they requested medical attention. Additionally, nocturnal sleep quality and excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) were assessed with validated questionnaires.

RESULTS: The top three important domains according to the patient were movement (79.9%), medication (73.2%), and physical condition (63.4%). Sleep was the sixth most frequently reported item, marked by 37.9% of the patients. Amongst the patients who scored sleep as a priority, 47 (81%) had a poor sleep quality (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index > 5). Although EDS was present in almost 30% of patients, a minority of them put it on their priority list.

CONCLUSION: A priority list can be used to prioritize patient-centered quality of life issues. Our results show that sleep is a clinical priority for about one-third of patients. Surprisingly, EDS was usually not prioritized by patients during the consultation, underscoring the need to use ratings scales alongside subjective priorities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-65
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Neurobiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease
  • Quality of Life
  • Self Report
  • Sleep
  • Sleep Wake Disorders
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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