Introduction Sleep Medicine is a rapidly growing field gaining increased awareness amongst the general public. However, educational exposure received by aspiring clinicians has only marginally improved in the last two decades (Romiszewskiet al., 2020).1 This review identifies research in which clinicians or clinical students’ Sleep Medicine knowledge was measured at baseline and retested following specific Sleep teaching. The extent of knowledge increase, alongside correlation between improvements and duration of teaching time were evaluated.
Methods Studies were screened to ensure they contained a relevant population, aged >18yr, exposed to an educational intervention focusing on sleep, with required assessments of clinical knowledge. Those focusing on non-clinical populations and non-English Language studies were excluded. Searches were performed using the Ovid platform alongside hand-searches in ‘Search Oxford Libraries Online’ and reference lists from review articles. Quality appraisal was conducted using published tools. For each study change in knowledge was converted to percentage, and statistical analyses performed to calculate the mean, participant number weighted mean, standard deviation and Spearman’s rank of correlation coefficient.
Results See table 1 and table 2. Seven studies were identified including five cross-sectional, one cohort study and one RCT. All showed a significant effect of Sleep Medicine Education. In total 445 who experienced interventions were included for analysis. A mean increase in Sleep Knowledge of 20% was noted across all studies, with the intensity of the educational intervention correlating with the degree of increase (Spearman’s rank 0.679 ) in all participants, and very strongly in the undergraduate population (Spearman’s rank 0.900 ).
Discussion Comparability remains a limitation of the review as not all intervention groups were assessed using validated measures of sleep medicine knowledge. Nevertheless, this provides compelling evidence to argue for additional formalised Sleep teaching in medical education in an already crowded medical curriculum.
Romiszewski S, May F, Homan E, Norris B, Miller M, Zeman A. Medical student education in sleep and its disorders is still meagre 20 years on: A cross-sectional survey of UK undergraduate medical education. Journal of Sleep Research, 2020;29(6).
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