NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Mar 15 – Results of a recent study suggest that high compliance with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is achievable through the use of a program that offers follow-up, education, and feedback to patients with obstructive sleep apnea.
Dr. Dan D. Sin and colleagues from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, note in the February issue of Chest that while CPAP is effective for obstructive sleep apnea, it is difficult to tolerate. In a prospective cohort longitudinal study, the investigators examined the long-term compliance rates to CPAP therapy in 296 patients with obstructive sleep apnea enrolled in a comprehensive community-based CPAP program.
The program included "intense patient education, use of a dedicated CPAP nurse to ensure close follow-up of patients (particularly during the first 2 weeks of therapy), troubleshooting when necessary, and rapid involvement of sleep physicians to solve compliance issues for difficult-to-manage patients."
The patients were given a CPAP device equipped with a monitoring chip. "Of the 296 subjects enrolled, 81.1% were males," the team notes. "Mean AHI was 64.4/h of sleep; age, 51 years; and body mass index, 35.2 kg/meters squared," they explain. "The mean duration of CPAP use was 5.7 h/d at 2 weeks, 5.7 h/d at 4 weeks, 5.9 h/d at 3 months, and 5.8 h/d at 6 months."