Specialized care improves treatment outcomes in patients with sleep apnea

A new study of patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) found that treatment outcomes were better when patients received care from sleep specialists and accredited sleep centers.

Results show that sleep apnea patients who received care from board certified sleep medicine physicians and accredited sleep centers were two times more likely to be adherent to positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy than those who received care from non-accredited centers and non-certified physicians. Patient satisfaction also was associated with physician certification, and timeliness of care was better at accredited centers.

"We have demonstrated under real-world conditions that sleep center accreditation and sleep medicine board certification are important determinants of patient-centered quality metrics such as adherence to PAP therapy, , patient education and timeliness of care delivery," said lead author and principal investigator Dr. Sairam Parthasarathy, associate professor of medicine at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Ariz. "These results suggest that health policy decisions should be directed toward care pathways involving accredited facilities and board-certified physicians."

The study results appear in the March 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, which is published by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

"Board certified physicians and the team of health care professionals at accredited sleep centers have the specialized training and expertise to provide high quality, patient-centered care for people with a sleep illness," said American Academy of Sleep Medicine President Dr. M. Safwan Badr.

Parthasarathy collaborated with Dr. Shyam Subramanian and Dr. Stuart Quan to conduct the study, which involved 502 patients with OSA at four centers. Participants received an objective diagnostic evaluation using overnight polysomnography and completed validated questionnaires. Objective PAP therapy adherence was measured three months after therapy initiation.

According to the authors, this is the first multicenter, prospective, comparative effectiveness study performed in the real-world setting to show favorable effects of physician certification and center accreditation on objective PAP adherence in with OSA.

More information: A Multicenter Prospective Comparative Effectiveness Study of the Effect of Physician Certification and Center Accreditation on Patient-Centered Outcomes in Obstructive Sleep Apnea," Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 2014.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

New quality measures approved for childhood sleep apnea

date Mar 13, 2015

A work group of physicians from leading academic medical centers across the country, including NYU Langone Medical Center, has developed new quality measures for the detection and treatment of childhood obstructive ...

Sleep apnea is common in women with pregnancy diabetes

date Mar 07, 2015

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is prevalent in obese, pregnant Asian women with gestational diabetes, even when their diabetes is controlled by diet, a new study from Thailand finds. Study results, which also connect the severity ...

Sleep problems may impact bone health

date Feb 03, 2015

The daily rhythm of bone turnover is likely important for normal bone health, and recent research suggests that sleep apnea may be an unrecognized cause of some cases of osteoporosis. Sleep apnea's effects on sleep duration ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.