The year is off to a flying start for the Commonwealth grant program
02 March 2023
From Alex Sweetman
A series of nine articles on the management of sleep health and sleep disorders will be published in the RACGP’s Australian Journal of General Practice over the next three months. These articles synthesise the most recent evidence-based information on the assessment, diagnosis and management of sleep health and sleep disorders in Australian general practice. A huge thank you to all authors, and members of the ASA Education Committee and ASA Board for approving these articles. The Focussed Issue will support primary care staff in managing patients with sleep problems, and has already facilitated collaborative activities between ASA members and primary care clinicians.
Researchers from the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research and Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health are preparing a How to Treat article for Australian Doctor on the integration of digital therapeutics and technology-assisted sleep health management into primary care. How to Treat articles are CPD-accredited education resources developed for Australian GPs, and provide a great opportunity to promote identification and assessment of sleep health in primary care.
New CBT-I education program
The Australasian Sleep Association and the Australian Psychological Society have recently commenced a collaboration to develop of a 6 hour online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) education program for psychologists. This online program will replace the previous 32-hour sleep certificate originally co-developed by the ASA and APS in 2015.
The Behavioural Management of Sleep Disorders education subcommittee is leading this work, which builds on other recent collaborations between the APS and sleep community on insomnia education articles, workshops, and webinars. It is expected that 200 psychologists will complete the module each year. This will increase the number of psychologists with training in insomnia assessment and CBT-I delivery, and improve patient access to CBT-I throughout Australia. This work complements the Sleep Health CRE and SAX Institute activities to improve access to CBT-I through GPs, online programs and psychologists.
Sleep Health Primary Care Guideline
We have almost concluded a small qualitative study with GPs to collect feedback on the new Sleep Health Primary Care Guideline. The Guideline, developed by the Sleep Health CRE and launched at GP22, is being promoted and refined through the Commonwealth Program. A Working Party has also been established to oversee content updates and promotion activities to the Guideline content over time.
An abstract was submitted to the WONCA world conference, on behalf of a group of general practice, sleep/respiratory physician, and psychologist presenters, to deliver a skill-building workshop on the assessment and management of insomnia in general practice. If accepted in the program, this hands-on workshop will focus on integrating the new sleep disorder Guideline into the routine identification and management of patients with insomnia symptoms, use of standardised assessment tools, delivery of brief behavioural treatments in general practice, and referral options.
As always, please contact me with any suggestions of questions about the Commonwealth program ([email protected]).