Prevalence and management of sleep disorders in the Veterans Health Administration

Robert L. Folmer, Connor J. Smith, Eilis A. Boudreau, Alex W. Hickok, Annette M. Totten, Bhavika Kaul, Carl J. Stepnowsky, Mary A. Whooley, Kathleen F. Sarmiento

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

The prevalence of diagnosed sleep disorders among Veterans treated at Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities increased significantly during fiscal years (FY) 2012 through 2018. Specifically, the prevalence of sleep-related breathing disorders (SRBD) increased from 5.5% in FY2012 to 22.2% in FY2018, and the prevalence of insomnia diagnoses increased from 7.4% in FY2012 to 11.8% in FY2018. Consequently, Veterans' demand for sleep medicine services also increased significantly between FY2012-2018, with steady increases in the annual number of VA sleep clinic appointments during this period (<250,000 in FY 2012; >720,000 in FY2018). Common co-morbid conditions among Veterans diagnosed with sleep disorders include obesity, diabetes, congestive heart failure, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). To address this healthcare crisis, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) developed and/or implemented numerous innovations to improve the quality and accessibility of sleep care services for Veterans. These innovations include a TeleSleep Enterprise-Wide Initiative to improve rural Veterans’ access to sleep care; telehealth applications such as the Remote Veteran Apnea Management Platform (REVAMP), Clinical Video Telehealth, and CBT-i Coach; increased use of home sleep apnea testing (HSAT); and programs for Veterans who experience sleep disorders associated with obesity, PTSD, TBI and other conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101358
JournalSleep Medicine Reviews
Volume54
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Keywords

  • Apnea
  • HSAT
  • Home sleep apnea testing
  • Insomnia
  • Sleep disorders
  • Telehealth
  • VA
  • VHA
  • Veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)

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