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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2004 Sep 1;170(5):547-52. Epub 2004 Jun 1.

Differences in patient and bed partner-assessed quality of life in sleep-disordered breathing.

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Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.


Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) is associated with daytime sleepiness and impaired quality of life. Clinical experience suggests that there is a discrepancy between the information provided by the patient and the bed partner. Although this discrepancy is widely recognized, it is not known whether there are differences in quality of life ratings as reported by the patient and by the bed partner on the patient's behalf. Using the Short-Form 36 to assess quality of life in 122 patients with SDB (apnea-hypopnea index > or = 5 events/hour), this study found that patients with SDB generally rate their quality of life higher than their respective bed partners. Systematic differences existed between the two raters in the following Short-Form 36 domains: physical functioning, general health, and vitality. Moreover, male patients reported a higher functional status compared with female patients relative to their respective bed partners. In contrast, no differences were noted between self and bed partner quality of life in normal subjects (n = 15) without SDB (apnea-hypopnea index < 5 events/hour) recruited from the general community. This study suggests that systematic differences exist between patient- and bed partner-assessed quality of life in SDB. Bed partner ratings provide supplemental information on quality of life impairment in SDB.

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