Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Projects

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Doctor of Nursing Practice

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Family Nurse Practioner

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Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Screening, Cardiovascular, Epworth Sleepiness Scale, Prevention


Pamela Aselton PhD, FNP-BC

DNP Project Chair

Pamela Aselton PhD, FNP-BC


Background: There is a high prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea in the United States, which left untreated can lead to increased cardiovascular risk. The current practice standard is to use a questionnaire to evaluate a patients’ sleep health, but this is not done regularly in every clinical setting. This DNP project aimed to bridge the gap in practice by implementing regular screening of obstructive sleep apnea in an urgent care center in Massachusetts.

Methods: This DNP project was conducted by having adult patients complete the Epworth Sleepiness Scale to determine the presence of a sleep health issue. The patients then completed an additional survey to determine if they have been screened in the past, and their attitudes toward the screening. The urgent care manager provided the screening tool to patients based on the inclusion criteria of being 18 years or older and the ability to read/speak English.

Results: Data was collected from 54 patients 18 years or older over a three-month period. Eleven were excluded because they had sleep apnea, were already being treated, or did not answer all questions of the survey. A total of 18 patients screen positive for sleep apnea with 88% of participants reporting not having been screened for sleep health issues prior to this screening and 72% of participants reporting the tool was beneficial and easy to complete.

Conclusion: Most people with sleep health issues in this urgent care clinic were not aware of their risk and had not been screened prior indicating a need for regular screening in Urgent Care practice settings. At this time the urgent care center will not be implementing a change in practice, but they are interested in the possibility and will consider implementing routine screening in the future.

Keywords: Sleep, screening, cardiovascular, health

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.