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Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1998 Jun;118(6):833-44.

Obstructive sleep apnea treatment outcomes pilot study.

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Department of Otolaryngology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.


Approximately 40 million Americans have chronic sleep disorders, the most serious of which is obstructive sleep apnea. The goals of this research were to serve as a demonstration project for a multicenter treatment outcomes research project for patients with obstructive sleep apnea. A clinical-severity staging system was created to control for important differences in the severity of sleep apnea among the enrolled patients. A disease-specific quality-of-life measure was used in this project to measure, from the patient's perspective, important pretreatment and posttreatment physical, functional, and emotional aspects of obstructive sleep apnea. Adults with apnea indexes greater than 5 who had not previously undergone uvulopalatoplasty were eligible. In total 142 patients were enrolled from eight otolaryngology practices. The mean age was 48 years, 112 were men, and 114 were white. The mean pretreatment apnea index was 40.0, and the mean respiratory distress index was 60.5. Seventy-one patients received continuous positive airway pressure, and 48 patients received surgery. Outcomes were assessed from scores on patient-based general and disease-specific health status measures 4 months after enrollment. The short duration of follow-up and limited number of patients undergoing posttreatment polysomnograms prohibit any analysis of treatment effectiveness. Nevertheless, this research represents a step forward for the support of future outcomes research projects by organized otolaryngology.

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