University of Arizona receives $2M grant to study sleep apnea

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

TUSCON, Ariz. – Scientists from the University of Arizona have received a $2 million grant to study whether telephone counseling helps sleep apnea patients stick with their treatment plans. Researchers will examine how outcomes, quality of life and treatment adherence are affected when community volunteers counsel patients over the phone, according to a release. "Fragmentation of care can lead to poor treatment adherence in patients with chronic medical conditions that can, in turn, lead to adverse health consequences, poor quality of life and patient dissatisfaction," said Sairam Parthasarathy, research team leader, associate professor of medicine at the university’s College of Medicine and medical director of its Center for Sleep Disorders. "We will use sleep apnea—a very common condition that affects 7% to 12% of the U.S. population—as an example condition to test the effect of community volunteer engagement, combined with the universal availability of personal cellphones, on the problem of poor care coordination and treatment adherence to the CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.” The study is one of 82 recently funded by the non-profit Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.