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Insomnia and Sleep Disorders in Primary Care Settings - Episode 5

Approaching Patient Conversations for Sleep Disorder Management

Dr Paul Doghramji shares tips for communication with patients once an insomnia diagnosis has been made.

Paul Doghramji, MD, FAAFP: Once we tell our patients that they have insomnia, that that's the problem, we need to give them a good bit of information. Some of the information that needs to be given to them is that we need to make their sleep better because poor sleep is a risk factor for many medical and psychiatric conditions. Just like high cholesterol is a risk factor or high blood pressure is a risk factor, obesity is a risk factor, insomnia is a risk factor, we need to do something about it. We need to tell them that our goal is to help them get a better night's sleep helping them feel as well as possible during the day. Now, we're going to try to do that as much as possible without medication, but if medication is needed, then we'll find the right medication for that patient to take, at least for a period and in some cases for a long period of time. Patient expectations are important to be communicated, but as well information about insomnia about what are the treatment modalities, and what our goals are. These are important things to do with our patients. Just like we do, let's say with depression, we see our patients often when they have depression, and we follow them as to how they're doing and manage their medications and tell them that we want them to get their remission. Similarly, with insomnia, we follow them regularly. We monitor how they're doing, and we adjust help them get to as much remission as possible where we're helping them get to sleep and stay asleep well through the night and having a good next day of feeling and having good quality of life next day as a result of the treatment. These are the things that need to be communicated to patients.

Transcsript Edited for Clarity