Study objectives: To develop and validate a questionnaire that assesses physicians' knowledge and attitudes about obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): the Obstructive Sleep Apnea Knowledge and Attitudes (OSAKA) questionnaire.
Design: Questionnaire study.
Setting: Physicians associated with the Washington University Physicians Network.
Participants: Twenty physicians in the pilot testing and 115 physicians in the final testing of the instrument.
Interventions: Physicians completed the OSAKA questionnaire containing sections regarding knowledge about OSA (18 items), attitudes about OSA (five items), and demographics of the study participants.
Measurements and results: Knowledge scores ranged from 0 to 18 (mean+/-SD=13.3+/-2.8). Individual knowledge items did not differ significantly by gender or by whether or not respondents had completed subspecialty training. The five attitude items were significantly correlated with one another. Knowledge scores correlated with the 5-item attitude scale. There was a negative correlation between age and knowledge (r=-0.368, P<0.001) and between age and the single attitude item pertaining to physicians' confidence in managing patients with OSA (r=-0.198, P=0.036); thus, the older the respondent, the lower the knowledge score and the less confident they were in managing patients with OSA.
Conclusions: The OSAKA appears to be a useful instrument to measure physicians' knowledge about OSA, their views on its importance as a clinical disorder, and their confidence in identifying and managing patients with this disorder.