Survey of Knowledge and Attitudes about Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Among Italian Anaesthetists

Turk J Anaesthesiol Reanim. 2017 Jun;45(3):146-152. doi: 10.5152/TJAR.2017.51423. Epub 2017 Feb 1.


Objective: As the care of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) patients remains heterogeneous, we hypothesized that it may reflect insufficient OSA knowledge/awareness among clinicians.

Methods: OSA Knowledge/Attitude Questionnaire (OSAKA) was translated into Italian and distributed to anaesthetists attending SIAARTI National Congress and Airways courses and Hands-on Workshops from October 2012 to June 2013.

Results: In total, 370 anaesthetists returned the questionnaires (response rate, 62%); the median (interquartile range [IQR]) knowledge score was 12 (10-14), and the range was 1-17 with no difference by gender, age, professional title or years of practice. The knowledge items achieved a mean rate of corrected response of 66%±0.14%. With regard to attitude items, median (IQR) score was 15 (13-17) and range was 0-20. Females and anaesthetists with >15 years of practice reached higher scores, while anaesthesia residents showed a lower attitude score. Gender and professional title were statistically associated with the attitude score (gender: F=14.6, p=0.0002; professional title: F=4.72, p=0.0099), whereas a weak association was observed within years in practice and attitude score (F=2.6, p=0.0519). Knowledge score correlated positively with attitude score (r=0.4, p<0.0001). For knowledge domains, there was a positive correlation between pathophysiology (mid-grade: r=0.3, p<0.0001), symptoms (low grade: r=0.2, p<0.0001), diagnosis (mid grade: r=0.3, p<0.0001) and the attitude score. Correlation close to zero was observed for epidemiology and treatment domains (r=0.09, p=0.06; r=-0.01, p=0.78, respectively).

Conclusion: The results of our survey demonstrate lack of knowledge about OSA and its treatment, revealing the need to update the syllabus of teaching in medical practice and in national health care policies to improve perioperative care.

Keywords: Obstructive sleep apnoea; continuous positive airway pressure; perioperative outcome; uvulopalatoplasty.