Title : Attitudes and knowledge of obstructive sleep apnoea among heart failure clinicians: A survey pilot study
Introduction: Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is highly prevalent in patients with chronic heart failure, characterised by repeated interruption in breathing due to upper airway collapse during sleep and has a greater prevalence in men, older adults and in obese individuals. If left untreated, OSA is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease, worsening heart failure, hypertension, metabolic disease, and reduced quality of life conferring significant burden for patients and the NHS.
Despite the high prevalence of OSA and adverse correlates, it is estimated that 85% of individuals with OSA in the United Kingdom (UK) are undiagnosed and untreated. It seems likely that under-diagnosis and further investigation is influenced by clinician knowledge and attitudes.
Objectives: The study aimed to evaluate the knowledge and attitudes of OSA among heart failure clinicians in the UK.
Methods: A web survey (pilot study), consisting of the modified Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Knowledge and Attitudes (OSAKA) questionnaire, was distributed among a small group of heart failure clinicians in the UK.
Results: A total of 22 (56%) questionnaires were completed for the pilot study. Sixty eight percent of participants indicated that identifying patients with OSA is at least very important. The mean total knowledge score was 14 (out of a maximum of 24), with scores ranging from 7 to 21. Results suggest a strong correlation between clinician confidence and knowledge.
Conclusions: A majority of respondents expressed a positive attitude towards the importance of OSA as a clinical condition; however, knowledge scores suggest that heart failure clinicians lack adequate knowledge of OSA.
Audience Take Away:
- Knowledge and attitudes of clinicians may influence their ability to identify patients at risk of OSA, requiring further investigation and treatment.
- Knowledge deficits can be identified and may be addressed through tailored teaching.
- Further strategies to address low knowledge and confidence should be explored.
- The development of OSA clinical guidelines will support best practice, reduce variability in practice and improve knowledge and confidence.