Date of Award

Fall 2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. LaWanda Baskin

Committee Chair School

Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Member 2

Dr. Carolyn Coleman

Committee Member 2 School

Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice


At present time, it is estimated that 50-70 million Americans suffer from some form of sleep disturbance (disrupted sleep) and subsequently, sleep disorders (formal diagnosis) (Hanson & Huecker, 2022), which has a direct correlation between sleep disorders and many existing common comorbid conditions. Patients commonly report experiencing excessive daytime sleepiness, inability to focus or concentrate, generalized fatigue, decreased libido, and lability of emotions. As a person ages, there is an increasing trend in the reduction of quality and quantity of sleep. Due to Americans living longer, the number of Americans living with sleep disturbance has significantly ballooned in recent decades. Sleep disturbance screening is often overlooked, or downplayed, during routine healthcare encounters, and as such, there must be an increase in awareness and a renewed focus on addressing this vast need (Hanson & Huecker, 2022). With Americans increasingly suffering from poor quality of sleep, primary care providers (PCP) are in a unique position to screen for sleep disturbance and are poised to reverse the growing trend of poor screening and lack of sleep specialist referral. Senthilvel, Auckley, and Dasarathy (2011) concluded that despite patients reporting common sleep disturbance symptoms, they are not intentionally screened for by PCPs. They also concluded that sleep quality and potential sleep disturbance can be effectively identified by using a screening questionnaire. One would naturally conclude this would lead to an increase in referrals to sleep specialists, accurately identifying sleep disorder diagnosis, and ultimately appropriate interventions.

A sleep disturbance screening questionnaire was implemented to screen for sleep disturbance in the adult population (18+) of a primary care clinic during new patient intake and annual physical visits. Evidence-based practice (EBP) was researched to select a sleep disturbance screening questionnaire appropriate for this project. The patient feedback from the screening questionnaire helped to better identify patients who need a referral to a sleep specialist for a sleep study, diagnosis, and subsequent intervention. The goal of this project was to improve the identification of patients who suffer from sleep disturbance, to subsequently increase referrals to a sleep specialist, and to increase the number of sleep studies and subsequent interventions.