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Workplace Health Saf. 2017 Oct;65(10):487-492. doi: 10.1177/2165079917692597. Epub 2017 Apr 17.

Screening Commercial Vehicle Drivers for Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Tools, Barriers, and Recommendations.

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1 Southern Regional AHEC.
2 Duke University School of Nursing.


Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a disorder characterized by a cessation of breathing during sleep, leading to poor sleep patterns and daytime somnolence. Daytime somnolence is of particular concern for commercial vehicle drivers, whose crash risk increases 50% with untreated OSA. The process of diagnosing and treating OSA in commercial drivers begins with effective and consistent screening. Therefore, the researchers screened drivers with both the STOP-Bang Questionnaire and the Obstructive Sleep Apnea Evaluation Worksheet (OSAEW) and compared the two tools. Drivers screening positive on the STOP-Bang Questionnaire, OSAEW, and both questionnaires were 28%, 23%, and 13%, respectively. Sleep study referrals were made for 50 drivers; 12 drivers were scheduled for sleep tests within 3 months. Health care provider referral rates for drivers screening at high risk (37%) and commercial driver monitoring rates (24%) were both low. Recommendations to improve OSA screening and testing practices include Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration-mandated screening and referral guidelines, employee-facilitated sleep testing, and OSA awareness campaigns.


Department of Transportation medical examinations; Epworth Sleepiness Scale; Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration; STOP-Bang Questionnaire; commercial drivers; motor vehicle accidents; obstructive sleep apnea; screening for obstructive sleep apnea; screening tool; traffic accidents

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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