New Study: Is Primary Care on Par with Sleep Center Care?

Published in the JAMA Network “Primary Care vs Specialist Sleep Center Management of Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Daytime Sleepiness and Quality , a 155-patient study concluded “primary care was not clinically inferior to treatment at a specialist sleep center for improvement in daytime sleepiness scores.” According to an abstract, the primary outcome comparison was a 6-month change in Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) score.

Both primary care and specialty groups brought ESS scores down to seven from roughly 12 in 6 months. The abstract concludes: “Among patients with obstructive sleep apnea, treatment under a primary care model compared with a specialist model did not result in worse sleepiness scores, suggesting that the two treatment modes may be comparable.”

Ching Li Chai-Coetzer, MBBS, PhD, of the Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health, Repatriation General Hospital, Daw Park, South Australia, and colleagues write that “a simplified management strategy for obstructive sleep apnea based in primary care was not clinically inferior to standard care in a specialist sleep center.”

“Thus, with adequate training of primary care physicians and practice nurses, and with appropriate funding models to support an ambulatory strategy,” they continue via JAMA press release, “primary care management of obstructive sleep apnea has the potential to improve patient access to sleep services. This would be particularly beneficial for rural and remote regions, as well as developing nations, where access to specialist services can be limited.”

Source: JAMA Network

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