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Obstructive Sleep Apnea Screening During Commercial Driver Medical Examinations: A Survey of ACOEM Members

Durand, Gerardo MD, MPH; Kales, Stefanos N. MD, MPH

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: October 2009 - Volume 51 - Issue 10 - p 1220-1226
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181b8c16b
Original Articles
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Objective: To survey American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) members regarding recent consensus guidelines for screening commercial drivers for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).

Methods: A brief survey instrument was distributed electronically by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine to its members during February 2008 to April 2008.

Results: Most (92%) of the 552 examiners opined that screening commercial drivers for OSA was important. Nevertheless, only 42% reported screening using consensus guidelines or another specific protocol. Common reasons for not applying the guidelines included unaware (36%), too complicated (12%), client retention (10%), and driver inconvenience (10%). Most would consider using the guidelines going forward but 39% wanted additional evidence and another 21% only if they became the “community standard.”

Conclusions: More education regarding OSA and drivers is needed. A Federal mandate and eliminating “doctor shopping” would likely increase examiners’ compliance with screening.

From the Environmental & Occupational Medicine & Epidemiology Program, Department of Environmental Health (Dr Durand, Dr Kales), Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Mass.; and Employee & Industrial Medicine, The Cambridge Health Alliance (Dr Kales), Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, Mass.

Address correspondence to: Stefanos N. Kales, MD, MPH, Employee & Industrial Medicine, The Cambridge Health Alliance, 1493 Cambridge Street, Macht Building, Suite 427, Cambridge, MA 02139; E-mail: skales@challiance.org; skales@hsph.harvard.edu.

©2009The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine