The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2008 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Greg Spratt1, Nicholas J. Macmillan1

Background: The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has recently approved the use of limited-channel home sleep testing (HST) for the diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea. Patient satisfaction with home sleep testing is largely unstudied and a key component to a successful program. As HST allows the patient to perform testing in the privacy and comfort of their own home and at a lower cost than facility-based polysomnography, we believe patients will be highly satisfied with a home testing program.

Methods: A program was developed to send a HST device to the patient's home for self-application. Patients were screened for appropriateness for HST. Patients considered inappropriate for HST were referred for a facility-based study. Patients were sent the ABM 'ARES', a 7-channel testing device with questionnaire. The device provides audio/visual indicators when the device requires adjustment. The device was sent to the patient's home with instructions for self-application. The patient was phoned by a specially-trained Respiratory Therapist at the patient's bedtime to review the instructions and answer questions. Calls were placed after the 1st and 3rd nights of testing to assess success. The patient was instructed to perform 3 nights of testing and ship the device to a sleep center for scoring and interpretation. Studies were assessed for adequate signal quality. Periods with significant loss of signal were removed before the analysis.

After testing was completed, a random sample of patients was evaluated for satisfaction by phone survey. Patients were asked to assess overall satisfaction with the program rating satisfaction using a 5 point scale with 5 being 'Extremely Satisfied' and 1 being 'Extremely Dissatisfied'.

Results: Seventy three patients were evaluated for satisfaction. Fifty six patients (76.7%) rated their satisfaction as 'Extremely Satisfied', fifteen patients (20.5%) as 'Very Satisfied', one patient as 'Satisfied' (1.4%) and one patient (1.4%) as 'Extremely Dissatisfied'. The patient that was 'Extremely Dissatisfied' had received a testing device that did not work upon arrival. Average ranking was 4.71 on the 5 point scale.

Conclusion: Overall, patient satisfaction with a self-applied Home Sleep Testing program was ranked high. Seventy one of seventy three patients (97.2%) ranked satisfaction as 'Very Satisfied' or 'Extremely Satisfied'.