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Heart Lung. 2003 Jan-Feb;32(1):52-8.

A randomized, controlled trial of 1 week of continuous positive airway pressure treatment on quality of life.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, USA.



This study examines the effect of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment on quality of life (QOL)in patients with obstructive sleep apnea.


Thirty-nine patients with sleep apnea were studied. Health-related quality of life was measured (HRQL) with the use of the Medical Outcomes Survey (MOS) instrument, before and after patients were randomized to receive either 1 week of CPAP or placebo-CPAP (CPAP administered at ineffective pressure).


CPAP was not found to have a specific effect on QOL as compared with placebo-CPAP. However, several aspects of HRQL improved in both groups over time in this study. Time effects were found in the following subscales of the MOS: satisfaction with physical functioning; effects of pain; pain severity; cognitive functioning; mental health index I; psychological well-being I; depression/behavioral-emotional control; anxiety I; psychological distress I; positive affect II; mental health index II; psychological distress II; anxiety II; psychological well-being II; mental health index III; role limitations due to emotional problems; and physical/physiologic functioning.


CPAP treatment does appear to improve several aspects of HRQL. However, this improvement may reflect a nonspecific response (ie, placebo) because comparable improvements were observed in both the active treatment group and the placebo treatment group. Additional study with placebo-CPAP designs is warranted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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