Unresolved obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) after an adenotonsillectomy, henceforth referred to as persistent OSA, is increasingly recognised in children (2–18 years). Although associated with obesity, underlying medical complexity, and craniofacial disorders, persistent OSA also occurs in otherwise healthy children. Inadequate treatment of persistent OSA can lead to long-term adverse health outcomes beyond childhood. Positive airway pressure, used as a one-size-fits-all primary management strategy for persistent childhood OSA, is highly efficacious but has unacceptably low adherence rates. A pressing need exists for a broader, more effective management approach for persistent OSA in children. In this Personal View, we discuss the use and the need for evaluation of current and novel therapeutics, the role of shared decision-making models that consider patient preferences, and the importance of considering the social determinants of health in research and clinical practice. A multipronged, comprehensive approach to persistent OSA might achieve better clinical outcomes in childhood and promote health equity for all children.
Investigator, CHEO Research Institute