PURPOSE: Pediatric sleep disorders are an often overlooked and under diagnosed problem in the pediatric population. Children’s sleep affects their health in multiple aspects. Our Hypothesis for this study was: Pediatricians do not recognize the importance of sleep in the pediatric patient and lack awareness of common sleep disorders
METHODS: We used a survey design method to collect data. Inclusion Criteria was General Pediatricians practicing in the United States. Candidates must be members of the AAP, and must be practicing in General Pediatrics.
RESULTS: The response rate was fortynine percentfor this survey using three waves of mailing. Ninety six percent believed it was their job to counsel patients regarding sleep hygiene, however only eighteen percent had received formal training. Those who did not screen for sleep issues spent significantly less time with patient and perceived more barriers to screening. Pediatricians less than 50 years of age had more formal training as compared to pediatricians who were greater than 50 years of age, twenty three percent verses eleven percent. The greatest barrier to screening was that the respondents felt that parents would indicate if there was a problem, twelve percent. Pediatricians who were trained had higher knowledge scores, perceived fewer barriers to screening and reported higher confidence scores regarding counseling patients
CONCLUSIONS: Virtually all of the pediatricians perceived counseling children regarding sleep was part of their jobs; however, only 1 in 5 pediatricians have received formal training. Fifty percent of pediatricians that responded screened for problems that included bedwetting, usual bedtime/wake time, and snoring/breathing pauses. However, the knowledge questions related to bedwetting and snoring were answered correctly by only twenty neine percent and thirteen percent respectively.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Our findings support the need for formal education for all pediatricians. The effect of such training could be an improvement in the health, quality of life, and academic performance in children.
DISCLOSURE: The following authors have nothing to disclose: Ramalinga Reddy, Jagdish Kuhbchandani, James Price, Dawn Bolyard, (Tasha) Firoza Faruqui
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