To study the awareness about sleep disordered breathing (SDB) among physicians under training (PUT) in medicine at a 600 bed tertiary care center.
A survey questionnaire with 9 questions pertaining to epidemiology, clinical features, and complications of SDB was administered to PUT. These physicians are expected to encounter and manage patients with SDB.
The response rate was 61%. Following pertinent responses were obtained; 1) 61% of physicians do not record symptoms of SDB on initial encounter; 2) 19% thought that SDB is as commonly prevalent as asthma, while 41% were unaware of prevalence of SDB; 3) Only 11% said they would suspect SDB if the patient has had atleast 1 motor vehicle accident (MVA); 4) Majority (84%) were aware that polysomonography (PSG) is needed to diagnose SDB, and 77% said they could order the PSG; 5) Only 1/3 knew that SDB can occur in normal weight patients; 6) 1/3 said they do not need PSG to order continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy for SDB; 7) Only 36% ordered PSG to detect SDB.CONCLUSIONS: Majority of the PUT in a tertiary care center are unaware of the various clinical and epidemiological aspects of the SDB including its recognition and treatment. However, there was high awareness that PSG is needed to diagnose SDB and that they could order the appropriate test. A significant number of PUT did not recognize that SDB can occur in normal weight patients. Majority (89%) would not suspect SDB even if the patient has had one MVA. Some PUT said they do not need PSG to order CPAP for SDB.
The low level of knowledge amongst PUT makes it imperative that high priority and more education hours need to be devoted towards educating physicians trainee about this common problem of SDB.
S. Sheel, None.