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Blog Feature

By: Richard Rosenberg, PhD on January 5th, 2017

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Journal Club: The Ever-Changing World of Sleep Technology

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Creating the Journal Club modules is one of the best parts of my job as educational consultant for the AAST. I read the literature on a regular basis just for fun, which shows you what kind of person I am. When I sit down to construct a Journal Club I get to trace back the influences on a paper or series of papers, and from time to time I get to talk with the authors.


Pioneers and Leaders in Sleep Medicine 

Over the past 4 years I’ve had conversations with Meir Kryger, Pat Strollo, Carol Rosen, Con Iber, Chris Lettieri and Naresh Punjabi. I chatted with Mark Aloia, Nancy Collop, Ron Chervin and Stuart Quan. Clete Kushida, Loretta Colvin and Susan Redline have stopped by the old Journal Club studio for a virtual sit down with me. I’m flattered when I call or email these key opinion leaders and find that they are willing to take the time to talk with me.

Long Format vs Short Format

I’ve been thinking about formats and I have been tempted to shorten the current one-hour modules. I read that attention spans are very short these days — about eight minutes is the average for college students.

I don't think Journal Club can fit into a tweet, but the challenge of a 140 word interview is twitter.jpg
intriguing. Tweeting may be the way we communicate in the future. I’ve modeled my interview style after Marc Maron, who has stuck with an hour-long format and goes into depth with his interviewees. Of course, Marc has interviewed President Obama, Robin Williams and Neil Young. But the people I interview have a lot to say and I’m happy to provide a forum that given them time to say what’s on their mind.


I set aside a portion of the Journal Club series to provide a broader review of an area of interest. Changes in practice parameters or scoring rules are particular favorites of mine. These can take the form of a presentation of contrasting points of view or an attempt to summarize the state of the art.

Sometimes the data doesn't support a longstanding common practice, and a new approach is needed. I’m currently looking at the evidence that suggests that our reliance on CPAP may be based on shakier data than we would like to think. I console myself by comparing the evidence for CPAP to the conflicting and totally biased evidence used by dentists to get us to floss on a daily basis. Sometimes a new approach has a substantial body of evidence to support a change in practice, such as the use of home testing devices for apnea diagnosis.


AAST Journal Club Feedback

Feedback to the AAST journal club videosWhat pleases me the most is when listeners and fans take the time to send me an email about one of the Journal Club presentations. This month both of them did just that. I got two emails and learned something about long-term consequences of full-face masks and the way that muscle tone is modified when full-face masks are used. With the daily onslaught of publications that come out it is impossible to keep up. It’s always great to open an email and read about articles that I may have missed or new findings that change the way we think about sleep.


My subtitle for the Journal Club for 2017 is “Keeping You Up-To-Date with the Literature in the Ever-Changing World of Sleep Technology.” I hope it’s useful. And if it’s not, I welcome suggestions for topics, debates, speakers and changes to the format. I’m open to most anything, but I don’t think I’ll be going with tweets any time soon.


Richard S. Rosenberg, PhD