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Folmer RL, Boudreau EA, Atwood CW, Smith CJ, Totten AM, Tock JL, Chilakamarri P, Sarmiento KF. Study protocol to assess de-implementation of the initial provider encounter for diagnosis and treatment of obstructive sleep apnea: the DREAM (Direct Referral for Apnea Monitoring) Project. BMC pulmonary medicine. 2022 Apr 2; 22(1):123.
BACKGROUND: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a very common and serious health condition which is highly prevalent among U.S. military Veterans. Because the demand for sleep medicine services often overwhelms the availability of such services, it is necessary to streamline diagnosis and treatment protocols. The goals of this study are to, (1) assess the efficacy of de-implementing the initial provider encounter for diagnosis and treatment of OSA; (2) determine the negative predictive value (NPV) of home sleep apnea testing (HSAT); (3) develop HSAT usage recommendations for various at-risk patient populations. METHODS: This is a large, pragmatic study that will take place in 3 VA sleep medicine programs: San Francisco, CA; Portland, OR; and Pittsburgh, PA. All Veterans referred for new sleep apnea evaluations at these sites will be included in this four-year study. Outcomes will include time from referral for OSA to sleep testing and treatment; positive airway pressure (PAP) treatment adherence measures; patient-reported clinical outcomes and measures of satisfaction; determination of the NPV of HSAT; HSAT usage recommendations for at-risk patient populations. DISCUSSION: The DREAM (Direct Referral for Apnea Monitoring) Project will inform sleep medicine providers and clinical organizations regarding strategies to streamline diagnosis and treatment protocols for OSA. Results of this study should have significant impact on clinical practices and professional guidelines. Trial registration The majority of this project is an observational study of clinical procedures. Therefore, clinical trial registration is not required.