WESTCHESTER, Ill. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients cared for by sleep centers accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and certified sleep medicine specialists receive better education than patients cared for by non-AASM accredited centers and non-certified physicians, according to a research abstract that will be presented on Tuesday at SLEEP 2008, the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS).
The study, authored by Sairam Parthasarathy, MD, of the University of Arizona and Southern Arizona VA HealthCare System, focused on four sleep centers and 243 patients. All patients underwent polysomnography at participating locations and completed validated questionnaires regarding education received from physicians and sleep centers, timeliness of the initial sleep study, and overall satisfaction of care received from physicians and centers. Subsequently, a three-month follow-up questionnaire was administered via telephone.
Patients at accredited centers were more likely to report having received adequate education regarding OSA than patients at non-accredited sites, said Dr. Parthasarathy. Lack of accreditation or certification status of providers was independently associated with greater likelihood of not receiving adequate education regarding OSA.
OSA is a sleep-related breathing disorder that causes your body to stop breathing during sleep. OSA occurs when the tissue in the back of the throat collapses and blocks the airway. This keeps air from getting into the lungs. It is estimated that four percent of men and two percent of women have OSA, and millions more remain undiagnosed.
On average, most adults need seven to eight hours of nightly sleep to feel alert and well-rested.
The AASM offers the following tips on how to get a good nights sleep:
First introduced as a treatment option for sleep apnea in 1981, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the most common and effective treatment for OSA. CPAP provides a steady stream of pressurized air to patients through a mask that they wear during sleep. This airflow keeps the airway open, preventing the pauses in breathing that characterize sleep apnea and restoring normal oxygen levels.