New GP Guideline on obstructive sleep apnoea and insomnia
Alex Sweetman
21 March, 2023

The National Centre for Sleep Health Services Research recently developed an online Guideline that provides general practitioners and other primary health care professionals with evidence-based information on the aetiology, assessment, management, referral, and ongoing care for obstructive sleep apnoea and chronic insomnia. 

The ASA took ownership of the resource in February 2022, and will oversee its ongoing maintenance, updates, and promotion through the Commonwealth grant program.

Professor Nick Zwar and Associate Professor Stijn Soenen (Bond University) led development of the Guideline, with input from an expert reference group of general practitioners, sleep and respiratory physicians, researchers, and psychologists. The Resource was iteratively developed through several periods of review by local HealthPathways editors, local practice-based networks in Queensland and South Australia, and practising GPs in the GoldNet network (QLD Practice-Based Research Network). The Guideline was then reviewed and approved by the ASA Education Committee, and ASA Board. The Guideline was reviewed by a panel of RACGP members, and was approved as an RACGP Accepted Clinical Resource in August, 2022.

In addition to scientific evidence, expert consensus, and general practitioner feedback, the content of the Guideline was also informed by qualitative interviews with GPs about experiences and knowledge of insomnia and sleep apnoea management. A comprehensive ‘search’ function allows primary care clinicians to efficiently access on-demand information before, during and following consultations.

The Guideline was formally launched at GP22, the RACGP conference in Melbourne (November 2022).

A small qualitative study with practicing GPs is being co-ordinated through the ASA Commonwealth grant program, to assess GP feedback on using the feasibility, acceptability, and usability of the Guideline before, during, and following consultations with patients.

This is a ‘living’ online Guideline that can be amended and updated with new information over time. A Working Party of the ASA Education Committee will be responsible for considering requests for future updates to the Guideline content, and periodically reviewing the Guideline for up-to-date information over time. 

If you have any questions or comments about the Guideline, please contact ASA Program Manager, Dr Alexander Sweetman ([email protected]).