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Sleep apnea gives way to air mask

Rating

4 Star

Sleep apnea gives way to air mask

Our Review Summary

The introduction of the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines represented an important development for the treatment of sleep apnea. Today, CPAP machines are standard therapy for those who are suffering from the condition. This story does a good job of explaining CPAP machines and some of the drawbacks of using them as well as laying out the alternative treatments that are available.

The story also adequately describes the treatment alternatives and does not engage in disease mongering. Because the story quotes multiple sources, the reader can assume that the story does not rely on a press release as the sole source of information.

The story does not describe the costs of CPAP or its alternatives. Nor the does story adequately quantify the benefits of CPAP treatment or describe the strength of the available evidence to support its use. It would have been helpful to see an estimate of the prevalence in the population and in overweight individuals, as well as estimates of the prevalences of the serious complications. Depression, drop in sex drive, heart attacks are mentioned and one person who died at 38 of complications from sleep apnea are all mentioned but there is no indication of how commonly these occur in this syndrome.

Criteria

Does the story adequately discuss the costs of the intervention?

Not Satisfactory

The story does not mention costs of CPAP or the alternatives.

Does the story adequately quantify the benefits of the treatment/test/product/procedure?

Not Satisfactory

The story does not adequately quantify the benefits of treatment. Although the story does state how many patients are able to comply with the treatment and presents the success rate of surgery, it does not quantify the benefits of CPAP. Furthermore, the sleep expert states that a CPAP machine "works 100 percent of the time." In reality, this appears to be an overstatement of how effective the machines are.

Does the story adequately explain/quantify the harms of the intervention?

Satisfactory

The story comments on some of the drawbacks of using CPAP machines, particularly on how difficult many patients find it to use on a regular basis. The story could have mentioned some of the possible harms of CPAP, such as sinus problems and sores on the nose.

Does the story seem to grasp the quality of the evidence?

Not Satisfactory

The story states that CPAP is very effective, but it does not comment on the strength of the available evidence to support the use of CPAP.

Does the story commit disease-mongering?

Satisfactory

The story does not appear to exagerate the seriousness or prevalence of sleep apnea. However, it would have been nice to see an estimate of the prevalence in the population and in overweight individuals, as well as estimates of the prevalences of the serious complications. Depression, drop in sex drive, heart attacks are mentioned and one person who died at 38 of complications from sleep apnea are all mentioned but there is no indication of how commonly these occur in this syndrome.

Does the story use independent sources and identify conflicts of interest?

Satisfactory

The story quotes multiples experts.

Does the story compare the new approach with existing alternatives?

Satisfactory

The story discusses several surgical options and dental appliances as alternatives to CPAP.

Does the story establish the availability of the treatment/test/product/procedure?

Satisfactory

The story clearly states that CPAP machines are available.

Does the story establish the true novelty of the approach?

Satisfactory

The story clearly states that CPAP machines are not a novel treatment for sleep apnea.

Does the story appear to rely solely or largely on a news release?

Satisfactory

Because the story quotes multiple experts, the reader can assume that the story does not rely on a press release as the sole source of information

Total Score: 7 of 10 Satisfactory

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