[Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome in the Community of Valencia: current situation, study of needs and future prospects]

Arch Bronconeumol. 1998 Apr;34(4):177-83. doi: 10.1016/s0300-2896(15)30449-x.
[Article in Spanish]


To analyze the infrastructure needs for diagnosing sleep apnea syndrome (SAS) in the Community of Valencia, we studied available resources and the diagnostic approaches to SAS in departments of pneumology and neurophysiology in 23 of the 25 public hospitals by means of a telephone interview. Only 52% of pneumology departments and 56% of neurophysiology departments studied SAS at any level. Level I study (conventional polysomnography) was performed by 42% of the pneumology departments and 100% of the neurophysiology departments. The remaining pneumology units used nighttime oximetry (a level IV technique). A special unit and trained personnel were available at 40% of hospitals. Home studies were performed by only 17%. Although 2,000 studies are performed annually, only 1,100 are level I and large interdepartmental differences were detected. The average waiting period was 16 months. Relations between pneumology and neurophysiology units were few and only one hospital took an interdisciplinary approach. The ratio of polysomnographs to inhabitants was 0.52/250,000 and the prevalence of nasal continuous positive airway pressure treatment was 36/100,000, lower than in other communities. We conclude that Valencia is understaffed and under-equipped, and that in some cases resources are under-used. Interdisciplinary approaches are scarcely used by the various specialists involved and the waiting lists for diagnostic tests required for prescribing empirical treatment are long. To attend the approximately 100,000 SAS patients estimated to reside in Valencia, it would be necessary to have 14 polysomnograph devices rather than the 8 available now, as well as to increase staff to meet demand and shorten waiting lists.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Health Resources
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polysomnography*
  • Positive-Pressure Respiration
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / diagnosis*
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / therapy
  • Spain