Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/58819
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Type: Journal article
Title: Exploring policy makers' perspectives on a clinical controversy: airway surgery for adult obstructive sleep apnoea
Author: Elshaug, A.
Hiller, J.
Moss, J.
Citation: Quality and Safety in Health Care, 2009; 18(5):397-401
Publisher: British Med Journal Publ Group
Issue Date: 2009
ISSN: 1475-3898
1475-3901
Statement of
Responsibility: 
A G Elshaug, J E Hiller, J R Moss
Abstract: Background and objectives: Worldwide, there is increasing focus on measures to reduce ineffective healthcare practices. Upper airway surgeries for the treatment of adult obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) represent a case-study in this area, given recent publications that draw into question their efficacy. Policy stakeholders were canvassed to assess their perspectives on this. Design and setting: Senior health policy stakeholders from Australia were criterion and snowball sampled (to identify opinion leaders). Participants were presented with preparatory material and took part in individual semistructured interviews. These focused on eliciting responses to recently published evidence and a relevant Cochrane review. Questions were posed relating to clinical effectiveness and associated policy implications. Interviews were taped and transcribed for thematic analysis. Participant comments were de-identified. Findings: Ten stakeholders were interviewed before saturation was reached. Thematic analysis highlighted participant concern with the diversity of procedures on offer, coupled with limited effectiveness (suggesting potential clinical uncertainty) and considerations therefore of resource allocation (potential opportunity cost). Stakeholders seem aware of the methodological complexities, the ethical issues raised and the role of patients in considerations regarding appropriateness. Finally, policy stakeholders acknowledge that these procedures appear appropriate only for a minority, with consensus that policy level restrictions to government funding for these procedures may be warranted. Conclusion: This report highlights that this clinical controversy is of interest and relevance from a policy perspective with lessons and potential implications for clinical practice. It further highlights the need for clinical consensus on definitions of surgical “success” in treating this condition, as this forms an important pretext to policy considerations.
Keywords: Humans; Sleep Apnea Syndromes; Attitude of Health Personnel; Evidence-Based Medicine; Health Policy; Administrative Personnel; Policy Making; Australia; Interviews as Topic
Rights: Copyright © 2009 by the BMJ Publishing Group Ltd. All rights reserved. BMJ Journals
RMID: 0020092806
DOI: 10.1136/qshc.2008.028563
Appears in Collections:Public Health publications

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