Study Objectives: Patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) on established positive airway pressure (PAP) treatment are often advised routine annual follow-up visits to assess ongoing effectiveness and address problems associated with therapy. This study evaluates the clinical utility of annual face-to-face follow-up visits. Design: We performed a retrospective chart review of OSA patients on PAP who had completed a routine annual follow-up visit. Demographics, polysomnography, PAP compliance, Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), subjective complaints (efficacy and interface issues, equipment malfunction, prescription renewal), objective findings (efficacy or leak issues, equipment problems), and visit-specific interventions were recorded. We determined relationships between patient provided information and likelihood of therapeutic versus administrative interventions. Setting: Academic sleep center. Measurements and Results: Among 716 patients who met study criteria, we abstracted data on 180 randomly selected patients. On multivariate analyses, only subjective complaints or objective findings by providers were associated with a therapeutic intervention (p < 0.0001). Though most patients (55 of 63 patients, 87.3%) who required therapeutic interventions had objective findings, without subjective complaints, the odds of such findings were only 0.12 (95% CI = 0.06-0.24, p < 0.0001). Without subjective complaints, the likelihood of a therapeutic intervention was 0.07 (95% CI = 0.03-0.15, p < 0.001). Conclusion: Our data suggests that in the absence of a subjective complaint, an annual follow-up is more likely to require administrative rather than face-to-face clinical intervention. Designing a clinic model to account for this might reduce resource utilization. However, the value and optimal timing of "routine" annual follow-up visits requires further evaluation.
- Clinic visits
- Obstructive sleep apnea
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Clinical Neurology