Validation of Horne and Ostberg morningness-eveningness questionnaire in a middle-aged population of French workers

Jacques Taillard, Pierre Philip, Jean-François Chastang, Bernard Bioulac
Journal of Biological Rhythms 2004, 19 (1): 76-86
As suggested by the authors, the Horne and Ostberg morning/evening questionnaire (MEQ) has never been adapted to evaluate a nonstudent population. The purpose of this study was to validate this MEQ in a sample of middle-aged workers by modifying only the cutoffs. It was administered in 566 non-shift-workers aged 51.2 to 3.2 years who presented no sleep disorders. According to the Home and Ostberg classification, the sample consisted of 62.1% morning type, 36.6% neither type, and 2.2% evening type. Multiple correspondence analysis, which determines the principal components, was performed on all MEQ items. Then an ascending hierarchical classification was applied to determine 3 clusters from these principal components. On the basis of these 3 clusters, new cutoffs were determined: evening types were considered as scoring under 53 and morning types above 64, thus giving 28.1% morning type, 51.7% neither type, and 20.2% evening type. As an external validation, eveningness was associated with later bedtime and waking-up time (more pronounced at the weekend), greater need for sleep, larger daily sleep debt, greater morning sleepiness, and ease of returning to sleep in the early morning. A positive correlation between age and morningness was again found. This study confirms that "owls" are not rare in a middle-aged sample. We conclude that this adapted MEQ could be useful when investigating age-related changes in sleep.

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