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Knowledge and attitudes of primary care physicians toward sleep and sleep disorders

Knowledge and attitudes of primary care physicians toward sleep and sleep disorders

Sleep and Breathing 6(3): 103-109

To assess primary care physician (PCP) sleep knowledge and attitudes. A sample of 580 PCPs practicing adult medicine in Northeast Ohio was selected, using a systematic random method (every 10th name on the American Medical Association mailing list). A three-part structured survey consisted of 30 attitude items and 33 multiple-choice test questions assessing knowledge, with some demographic questions. Repeat mailings were sent to nonrespondents 4 to 6 weeks apart from October 1999 through April 2000. 46 surveys were undeliverable and 105 (20%) useable questionnaires were returned. Of respondents, 94% were board certified with 76% certified in more than one area. When asked to rate their knowledge of sleep disorders, none rated themselves as excellent, 10% rated themselves as good, 60% as fair, and 30% as poor. The factors rated highest in influencing current practices regarding sleep and sleep disorders were articles in journals, continuing medical education courses, and discussions with specialists. Knowledge average was 34% (3 to 94%). Though virtually all agreed that prevention counseling should be a part of patient care, fewer agreed that they spend more time counseling patients on the benefits of sleep than of diet or exercise. The majority of PCPs rated their own knowledge of sleep disorders as fair or poor. Knowledge testing and attitude assessment lend credence to these perceptions.

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Accession: 046508084

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PMID: 12244489

DOI: 10.1007/s11325-002-0103-3

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