Sleep and wakefulness disturbances in Swiss pharmacy customers

Schwegler, Kyrill; Klaghofer, Richard; Nirkko, Arto C; Mathis, Johannes; Hersberger, Kurt E; Bloch, Konrad E (2006). Sleep and wakefulness disturbances in Swiss pharmacy customers. Swiss medical weekly, 136(9-10), pp. 149-54. Muttenz: EMH Schweizerischer Ärzteverlag

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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Sleep disturbances are prevalent but often overlooked or underestimated. We suspected that sleep disorders might be particularly common among pharmacy customers, and that they could benefit from counselling. Therefore, we described the prevalence and severity of symptoms associated with sleep and wakefulness disorders among Swiss pharmacy customers, and estimated the need for counselling and treatment. METHODS: In 804 Swiss pharmacies (49% of all community pharmacies) clients were invited to complete the Stanford Sleep Disorders Questionnaire (SDQ), and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (EPW). The SDQ was designed to classify symptoms of sleep and wakefulness into the four most prevalent disorders: sleep apnoea syndrome (SAS), insomnia in psychiatric disorders (PSY), periodic leg movement disorders/restless legs (RLS) and narcolepsy (NAR). Data were entered into an internet-linked database for analysis by an expert system as a basis for immediate counselling by the pharmacist. RESULTS: Of 4901 participants, 3238 (66.1%) were female, and 1663 (33.9%) were male. The mean age (SD) of females and males was 52.4 (18.05), and 55.1 (17.10) years, respectively. The percentages of female and male individuals above cut-off of SDQ subscales were 11.4% and 19.8% for sleep apnoea, 40.9% and 38.7% for psychiatric sleep disorders, 59.3% and 46.8% for restless legs, and 10.4% and 9.4% for narcolepsy respectively. The prevalence of an Epworth Sleepiness Scale score >11 was 16.5% in females, and 23.9% in males. Reliability assessed by Cronbach's alpha was 0.65 to 0.78 for SDQ subscales, and for the Epworth score. CONCLUSIONS: Symptoms of sleep and wakefulness disorders among Swiss pharmacy customers were highly prevalent. The SDQ and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale score had a satisfactory reliability to be useful for identification of pharmacy customers who might benefit from information and counselling while visiting pharmacies. The internet-based system proved to be a helpful tool for the pharmacist when counselling his customers in terms of diagnostic classification and severity of symptoms associated with the sleeping and waking state.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology

UniBE Contributor:

Nirkko, Arto C. and Mathis, Johannes






EMH Schweizerischer Ärzteverlag




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:46

Last Modified:

17 Mar 2015 21:45

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Web of Science ID:


URI: (FactScience: 1470)

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