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P076 Signposting for snoring: does it optimise use of GP time? Online surveys of patients and sleep-trained dentists
  1. Adrian Zacher and
  2. Emma Easton
  1., Bicester, UK


Introduction 301 – 952% of adults search online for health information, and online systems are increasingly used to optimise GP clinical time. Intra-oral devices (MADs) are recommended by NICE3 for snoring, mild OSA and where PAP is refused or not complied with.

If SRBD services are to cope with increasing demand, signposting non-somnolent patients (without major co-morbidities) directly to sleep-trained dentists could offer a way to optimise both GP time and improve access to MADs.

A significant challenge is that most patients and medics don’t consider ‘going to the dentist’ a treatment option.

This abstract explores the hypothesis that online signposting could optimise GP clinical time and SRBD service use, while facilitating direct access to MADs for non-somnolent patients.

Note Signposting is a form of triage or care navigation - not screening.

Method We created Signposting an online signposting tool (Clinical Decision Support System, CE marked, Software as a Medical Device) and began assessing outcomes from 4th June 2019 using online surveys of both patients and sleep-trained dentists.

Results (Preliminary data - survey ongoing)

  • 115 patients used Signposting with 7 survey respondents. 5 sleep–trained dentists responded

  • 100% of surveyed patients considered they needed signposting to snoring treatment (figure 1)

  • Sleep–trained dentists said 60% of their snoring patients had already seen a GP. (Figure 2)

  • Signposting captured assessment data in the patient’s own time, further optimising clinical time

Abstract P076 Figure 1

When you [patient] think about signposting for snoring do you think of it as something you do or don’t need?

Abstract P076 Figure 2

Before their appointment with you [dentist], had your snoring patients tried any these?

Discussion Results suggest GP clinical time may be optimised and access to MADs improved through use of online signposting that:

  • Builds a primary care network (GP & dentist) to serve the patient and ‘filter’ SRBD referrals to secondary care

  • Facilitates direct access to NICE recommended MAD therapy for benign snorers

  • Avoids the pitfalls of self–diagnosis and self–treatment with OTC ‘cures’


  1. From Listening to Understanding, Treato, Whitepaper, [Accessed 16th October 2017]

  2. ITV, ‘Tonight’. ‘Dr Google: Does DIY Diagnosis Work?’:[accessed 8th Feb 2018]

  3. NICE CKS: Obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome > Intra oral devices >

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