Tailored approach to sleep health education (TASHE): study protocol for a web-based randomized controlled trial

Williams, Natasha J.; Robbins, Rebecca; Rapoport, David; Allegrante, John P.; Cohall, Alwyn T.; Ogedegbe, Gbenga; Jean-Louis, Giardin

Background: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder that disproportionately affects African Americans (hereafter referred to as blacks). Moreover, blacks may underutilize sleep services including overnight polysomnography. Thus, OSA among blacks may go undiagnosed and untreated, which has significant health consequences, including hypertension, diabetes, cognitive impairment, and daytime sleepiness.

Design and Methods: This two-arm randomized controlled trial will assign 200 participants to a culturally and linguistically tailored web-based sleep educational platform. The website will be developed to ensure that the content is user friendly and that it is readable and acceptable by the target community. Participants will receive login information to a password-protected website and will have access to the website for 2 months. Study assessments will be collected at baseline, 2 months (post-enrollment) and at 6 months (follow-up). We will use qualitative and quantitative methods to develop tailored materials and to ascertain whether tailored materials will increase OSA knowledge and OSA health literacy by comparing blacks exposed to tailored materials versus those exposed to standard sleep health literature. We hypothesize that exposure to tailored OSA information will improve OSA health literacy.

Discussion: Few studies have investigated the racial/ethnic disparities in relation to OSA screening and treatment comparing blacks and whites. Moreover, we know of no interventions designed to increase OSA knowledge and health literacy among blacks. Use of the Internet to disseminate health information is growing in this population. Thus, the Internet may be an effective means to increase OSA health literacy, thereby potentially increasing utilization of sleep-related services in this population.


  • thumnail for Williams et al. TASHE Study Protocol for a Web-Based RCT- Trials 2016.pdf Williams et al. TASHE Study Protocol for a Web-Based RCT- Trials 2016.pdf application/pdf 376 KB Download File

Also Published In

More About This Work

Academic Units
Health and Behavior Studies
Sociomedical Sciences
Published Here
March 2, 2020


Keywords: Adherence, Sleep health, Blacks, Continuous positive airway pressure, Health education, Health literacy, Internet, Obstructive sleep apnea

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (