The Practice of Sleep Medicine Around The World: Challenges, Knowledge Gaps and Unique Needs

Sleep Medicine in Austria

Author(s): Rainer Popovic*, Michael T. Saletu and Reinhold Kerbl

Pp: 332-342 (11)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815049367123010027

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Austria has had a long tradition of sleep and dream science since Sigmund Freund published his psychoanalytic theory of personality at the turn of the twentieth century. Sleep medicine today, however, is a multidisciplinary specialization and training in Austria lasts about 18 months. Exploring the impact of sleep on daily activity, Austrian scientists are especially interested in the role of sleep disorders as an independent risk factor for neurological, psychiatric, and vascular diseases and their therapeutic management.

When the Austrian Sleep Research Association (ASRA) was founded in 1991, CPAP therapy for sleep apnea had already celebrated its 10th birthday and had become a standard therapy covered by all public health insurance. Quite in contrast, in the field of insomnia, cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) has been established in international therapy guidelines, but for sleep-disturbed patients, affordable rapid access to this therapeutic option is still a challenge in our country.

Since 1998, the ASRA has been offering voluntary accreditation based on a quality check process to sleep centers. More recently, a sleep training plan was introduced to obtain a sleep physician diploma by the Austrian Medical Chamber.

Keywords: Board certification, Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT-I), CPAP adherence, Home sleep apnea testing (HSAT), Insomnia, LORETA, Neuroimaging, Quality management, Memory consolidation, Narcolepsy, Parasomnia, Practice guidelines, Reimbursement, SIESTA project, Sleep apnea, Sleep center, Sleep coaching, Sleep specialist, Sleep staging, Telemedicine.

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