|M.Sc Student||Davidovitch Ayelet|
|Subject||The Institutionalization of a New Medical Area|
|Department||Department of Industrial Engineering and Management||Supervisor||Professor Albert Goldberg|
The research examined the institutionalization of a new medical area - diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea syndrome. Central to the study was the mapping of a time frame during which the medical community adopted the new specialization. The research focused on three institutional pillars: 1) The regulative pillar based on rule-setting, monitoring and sanctions. 2) The normative pillar based on norms and values, 3) The cognitive pillar representing interpretations of the environment and the understanding of taken-for-grantedness. A bibiliometric analysis of publication on sleep apnea during 1978-2001 reveals the importance of norms and national culture. The United States proved central to the diffusion of the new specialization of sleep apnea. The regulative pillar was based on an interaction between federal research policy, funding patterns, and the development of sleep apnea research. From the normative point of the view, the involvement of industrialized countries with advanced norms was higher than other countries. Authorship patterns in different countries revealed the contribution of universities in sleep apnea literature. The construction of a cognitive pillar was demonstrated through an increase in the number of sleep departments and laboratories engaged in the research. In addition, articles on sleep apnea were more common among pulmonary physicians, otolaryngologists and neurologists. The choice of treatments in sleep apnea proved to be more influenced by national culture than by treatment approaches. Despite the rising profile of sleep apnea in the medical literature and the frequency of references to the syndrome, the process of institutionalization is still in an early phase of development.