To ensure effective treatment for any disease state, review of the appropriate diagnostic test results with a patient is of importance. This study was undertaken to evaluate the patient's perception of whether the results of their sleep study were reviewed with them by the primary care provider who ordered their sleep study.
All patients referred to the sleep disorders center (SDC) were included. Patients are referred to the center either directly for evaluation or as a result of a telephone followup by the SDC staff in which a patient is found to be having difficulty with adherence to the prescribed CPAP therapy or who has refused therapy. At the time of the visit each patient is asked whether the ordering primary care provider has discussed the results of the sleep study with them.
Over an eight month period in 2008, 342 patients were evaluated in an initial visit by the SDC physician. 295 with confirmed sleep disordered breathing were referred as a result of the followup telephone conversation with the SDC staff. Of these, 262 (88%) did not remember having a discussion with the ordering physician regarding the test results while 33 (12%) did remember a discussion regarding their test results. Of the 47 other patients evaluated, 20 patients had a sleep study performed and in all instances the results were discussed with the patient by the SDC physician within a two week period of the completion of the study.
A majority of patients who are diagnosed with sleep disordered breathing and who are having difficulty in acclimatizing to positive airway pressure therapy have not had a discussion regarding their sleep study test results with the provider who ordered the sleep study and prescribed positive airway pressure therapy.
Discussion of test results with a patient is an essential component to the management of a patient and his/her illness. The absence of such a discussion with the patient may negatively impact on adherence to therapy.
Brian Carlin, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information