, Volume 11, Issue 12, pp 759-761

Sleep history is neglected diagnostic information

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Abstract

Sleep problems are treatable causes of morbidity and mortality, but little is known about how often the history fundamental to diagnosis is obtained. We recorded the frequency of sleep histories during encounters with simulated patients by 20 experienced primary care practitioners, 23 uninstructed medical interns, and 22 interns who had previous instruction about sleep disorders. Sleep histories were uncommonly obtained by uninstructed physicians (0% of practitioners, 13% of interns), but trained interns more often (81.8%) asked about sleep. If sleep problems are to be prioritized, major changes in physician education and behaviors are essential. Focused instruction about sleep influences physician behavior.

Supported by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Sleep Academic Award 1K07HLO 3647-012HL1CCP-1 (SI) and by Grant 1K07HL0 2479-01A1.