Sleep Disorders Classification and Diagnosis

Jack D. Edinger and Charles M. Morin

in The Oxford Handbook of Sleep and Sleep Disorders

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780195376203
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Sleep Disorders Classification and Diagnosis

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This chapter reviews classification schemes of sleep disorders and discusses assessment procedures commonly used to derive a diagnosis. Three different classifications, based predominantly on expert opinions and consensus, have evolved in parallel over the last few decades. Two of them are incorporated within larger taxonomies, such as the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) from the World Health Organization and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) from the American Psychiatric Association. A more specialized taxonomy, the International Classification of Sleep Disorders, has been developed by sleep medicine and research societies. Despite overlap in their diagnostic criteria, significant discrepancies exist among these classification systems. The DSM and previous versions of the ICD lump different disorders within a small number of categories, whereas the ICSD system tends to split related disorders into multiple discrete diagnoses. Despite limited evidence supporting their validity and reliability, these classification systems remain widely used by clinicians and researchers. Regardless of the system in use, accurate diagnosis of sleep disorders is based on a multilevel assessment including a clinical interview, screening questionnaires and self-monitoring, laboratory procedures, and ambulatory behavioral assessment devices. Future research is needed to examine more closely the validity and reliability of various sleep disorders as well as the clinical utility of current taxonomies.

Keywords: sleep disorders; classification; diagnosis; evaluation; taxonomy; nosology

Article.  13013 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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