A pre-screening questionnaire to predict non-24-hour sleep-wake rhythm disorder (N24HSWD) among the blind

Erin E. Flynn-Evans, Steven W. Lockley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Study Objectives: There is currently no questionnaire-based pre-screening tool available to detect non-24-hour sleep-wake rhythm disorder (N24HSWD) among blind patients. Our goal was to develop such a tool, derived from gold standard, objective hormonal measures of circadian entrainment status, for the detection of N24HSWD among those with visual impairment. Methods: We evaluated the contribution of 40 variables in their ability to predict N24HSWD among 127 blind women, classified using urinary 6-sulfatoxymelatonin period, an objective marker of circadian entrainment status in this population. We subjected the 40 candidate predictors to 1,000 bootstrapped iterations of a logistic regression forward selection model to predict N24HSWD, with model inclusion set at the p < 0.05 level. We removed any predictors that were not selected at least 1% of the time in the 1,000 bootstrapped models and applied a second round of 1,000 bootstrapped logistic regression forward selection models to the remaining 23 candidate predictors. We included all questions that were selected at least 10% of the time in the final model. We subjected the selected predictors to a final logistic regression model to predict N24SWD over 1,000 bootstrapped models to calculate the concordance statistic and adjusted optimism of the final model. We used this information to generate a predictive model and determined the sensitivity and specificity of the model. Finally, we applied the model to a cohort of 1,262 blind women who completed the survey, but did not collect urine samples. Results: The final model consisted of eight questions. The concordance statistic, adjusted for bootstrapping, was 0.85. The positive predictive value was 88%, the negative predictive value was 79%. Applying this model to our larger dataset of women, we found that 61% of those without light perception, and 27% with some degree of light perception, would be referred for further screening for N24HSWD. Conclusions: Our model has predictive utility sufficient to serve as a pre-screening questionnaire for N24HSWD among the blind.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)703-710
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Sleep Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • 6-sulfatoxymelatonin
  • Blindness
  • Circadian rhythms
  • Melatonin
  • N24HSWD
  • Non-entrained
  • Screening questionnaire
  • Sleep

Cite this