Telemedicine for sleep disorders: An update from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has published an update in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine stating that, during the pandemic, telemedicine has been an effective tool for the diagnosis and management of sleep disorders.
Since the academy’s last update in 2015, the use of telemedicine services has increased exponentially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The academy’s latest update adds that the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted telemedicine’s ‘importance in improving access to sleep care and advocating for sleep health.’
Furthermore, a growing body of published research has found telemedicine to be effective in the management of patients with sleep disorders, such as apnea, and for the delivery of cognitive behavioral therapy for the treatment of insomnia.
The update authors also outlined how a shortage of trained behavioral sleep therapists has led to the development of online application-based CBT-I programs and a recent systematic review and meta-analysis found that internet-delivered CBT-I is effective in improving sleep.
Telemedicine, the academy says, is also effective for helping to treat sleep disorders among children: ‘Telehealth follow-up visits, primarily via telephone, have been used for chronic management of obstructive sleep apnea and internet delivered CBT-I has been shown to be effective in adolescents with insomnia.’
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