Clinical Practice Guidelines provide physicians with comprehensive recommendations for the evaluation, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of patients with sleep disorders. As outlined on the Guideline Development Process page, these guidelines are developed by a task force of experts who perform a systematic review of all published evidence on the topic. The evidence is then assessed using GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation). Evidence-based clinical practice recommendations are developed to provide overall diagnostic or treatment strategies for patients, taking into account the quality of evidence, balance of benefits versus harms, patient values and preferences and resource use. A draft of the guideline is made available for a 2-week public comment period before it is approved by the AASM Board of Directors for publication. All papers are reviewed at least every 5 years and updated as necessary. A list of current projects can be found on the Guidelines in Development page. Position Papers are developed by a task force of sleep experts, when little high-quality evidence is available. Position Statements provide a concise explanation of the AASM’s position on a narrow topic of interest. Position Papers provide a more complete analysis of a narrow topic of interest, and explain why the AASM supports a particular position.
Previously, the AASM developed other document types to guide physicians in evaluating and managing patients with sleep disorders, such as practice parameters (recommendations based on an accompanying systematic review of the evidence), clinical guidelines (recommendations based on a review of the evidence, when available, or expert consensus) and best practice guides (recommendations based largely on expert consensus). Several of these are currently still active and will be updated as new evidence becomes available.
AASM Consensus Statements and Consensus Papers are developed by a panel of experts using a modified RAND Appropriateness Method consensus process, when little direct evidence is available. Consensus Statements provide a concise explanation of the panel’s position on a narrow topic of interest. Consensus Papers provide a more complete accounting of consensus conference proceedings, the evidence that was reviewed and any key discussion points that led to the final consensus
Promoting high-quality care in sleep medicine has always been a focus of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), which accredited the first sleep center in 1977 and began developing evidence-based practice standards about 25 years ago. Today more than 2,500 AASM accredited sleep disorders centers across the U.S. are providing exceptional care for people who suffer from a chronic sleep disease. In keeping with its mission of promoting high-quality care, the AASM has developed quality measures for assessment and management of common sleep disorders.