A new tool to screen patients with severe obstructive sleep apnea in the primary care setting: a prospective multicenter study

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Background: The coordination between different levels of care is essential for the management of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The objective of this multicenter project was to develop a screening model for OSA in the primary care setting. Methods: Anthropometric data, clinical history, and symptoms of OSA were recorded in randomly selected primary care patients, who also underwent a home sleep apnea test (HSAT). Respiratory polygraphy or polysomnography were performed at the sleep unit to establish definite indication for continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). By means of cross-validation, a logistic regression model (CPAP yes/no) was designed, and with the clinical variables included in the model, a scoring system was established using the β coefficients (PASHOS Test). In a second stage, results of HSAT were added, and the final accuracy of the model was assessed. Results: 194 patients completed the study. The clinical test included the body mass index, neck circumference and observed apneas during sleep (AUC 0.824, 95% CI 0.763–0.886, P < 0.001). In a second stage, the oxygen desaturation index (ODI) of 3% (ODI3% ≥ 15%) from the HSAT was added (AUC 0.911, 95% CI 0.863–0.960, P < 0.001), with a sensitivity of 85.5% (95% CI 74.7–92.1) and specificity of 67.8% (95% CI 55.1–78.3). Conclusions: The use of this model would prevent referral to the sleep unit for 55.1% of the patients. The two-stage PASHOS model is a useful and practical screening tool for OSA in primary care for detecting candidates for CPAP treatment. Clinical Trial Registration Registry: ClinicalTrials.gov; Name: PASHOS Project: Advanced Platform for Sleep Apnea Syndrome Assessment; URL: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02591979; Identifier: NCT02591979. Date of registration: October 30, 2015.

Original languageEnglish
Article number38
JournalBMC Pulmonary Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2022


  • Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)
  • Home sleep apnea test
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Primary healthcare
  • Screening model
  • Sleep unit


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