Planned study - The subject of this Health Services Research (HSR) project is Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome (OSAS) in adults. Currently in Belgium, both diagnosis and disease management are hospital based. Diagnosis occurs in acknowledged sleep labs through anamnesis, physical examination and Poly Somnography and sometimes other tests. Treatment, which is mainly done using Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) during sleep, is also managed and followed-up by recognised sleep centres through a convention with RIZIV – INAMI. The hospital receives a daily fee for this long-term follow-up and for the provision of the device.
The aim of this research is to evaluate the possibilities of moving part of the diagnostic and therapeutic trajectory out of the hospital into an ambulatory setting as is done in some other countries. For this evaluation, we will use peer-reviewed and grey literature describing the epidemiology of OSAS, but also the diagnostic performance and treatment efficacy in a more ambulatory setting for specific patients. We will describe the approaches in a few selected European countries and compare them to the Belgian system. Existing international guidelines will be described and finally a review of the existing literature on the cost-effectiveness of different approaches will be performed.