, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 729-735
Date: 22 Oct 2010

Using a generic measure of quality of life in patients with obstructive sleep apnea

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To evaluate the utility of a Multicultural Quality of Life Index (MQLI) in patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea-Hypopnea (OSAH).


Physical examination, MQLI and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) were applied to participants. In addition, a polysomnography or a respiratory polygraphy was carried out.


A total of 221 patients participated, 186 (84%) males, mean age 48.8 ± 11.8 years. The MQLI scores 7were .73 ± 1.45 and the ESS 9.9 ± 5.2. A total of 188 (85%) patients had OSAH: 40 (21%) mild, 43 (23%) moderate, and 105 (56%) severe. The average time to answer the MQLI was 3.5 min. Cronbach’s alpha index was 0.930. MQLI score in patients with and without OSAH was 7.73 versus 7.75 (p = 0.949); and by severity: non-OSAH 7.75, mild 8.04, moderate 8.14, and severe 7.44 (p = 0.023). There was a slight correlation between MQLI score and Apnea-Hypopnea Index in total population, but it disappeared when we analyzed by severity. MQLI and ESS correlation was R = −0.3256 (p < 0.0001).


The MQLI has limitations in identifying quality of life (QOL) alterations and a poor correlation with severity in OSAH patients. The MQLI quantifies QOL in a general way. We recommend supplementing the QOL evaluation with disease-specific instruments.