Monday, February 26, 2007

The Home Sleep Testing Controversy: Sleep Review Provides Vehicle to Raise Awareness Among Us


Controversy is certainly no stranger to all of society, and most assuredly not to medicine or medical technology. Like our colleagues from other fields of medicine and technology, the Sleep Community has seen its share of growing pains accompanied by controversy over the years as the field matured and as technology advanced. There seem to be many similarities between the controversies surrounding home sleep testing versus sleep laboratory testing and issues of yesteryear such as hospital versus freestanding laboratories, or full-night versus split-night studies. I remember paste versus glue for electrode placement during patient setups even being quite the controversy in some circles of our community at one time. After all, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.


Whether we are for or against home sleep testing, raising our levels of consciousness regarding the pros and cons is a wise move for any sleep professional. Inspired by a study published February 2007 in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine titled Diagnosis and Initial Management of Obstructive Sleep Apnea without Polysomnography: A Randomized Validation Study, Sleep Review brings forward diverse points of view related to the home testing controversy with its new podcast series made up of interviews with medical professionals and leaders on both sides of the issue.

I encourage you to tune into the Sleep Review "Home Testing Podcast Series" currently being conducted to educate yourself on both sides of the controversy while raising your own level of consciousness. While I was at a sleep conference late last year, after a pro/con debates were presented on home testing, the mediator asked attendees' opinions via a show of hands -- for or against home monitoring. I now wonder what people that frequent my blog think. Feel free to weigh in on the topic in the comment area below, or if you have difficulty with this feature, you may post at tshumard@comcast.net and your comments will be published on the blog.


Here are some points to ponder:


1. Do you feel that home testing is a bad or good move? Why?

2. Do you feel that reimbursements for home testing would limit the number of sleep studies done in your own lab or eliminate sleep technologist jobs or decrease the need for sleep specialist physicians?

3. Do you feel further validation is needed before reimbursements for home studies should be considered?

4. In your opinion, can studies done in the home have the same quality as laboratory studies?


Be well, Sleep well,
Theresa

1 comment:

James said...

The sleep review "podcast" is great except its not really a podcast at all. Its simply some down loadable audio files.