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Behav Sleep Med. 2007;5(2):89-104.

Brief behavioral therapies reduce early positive airway pressure discontinuation rates in sleep apnea syndrome: preliminary findings.

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Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown Medical School.


Sleep apnea syndrome (SAS) is a serious disorder with significant daytime consequences. Treatment for SAS most commonly takes the form of positive airway pressure (PAP). Although effective, PAP adherence is often below expectations. Previous studies have suggested that the provision of information on the importance of PAP use can enhance adherence. In this study, we compare 2 brief behavioral approaches-traditional education (ED) and a motivational enhancement therapy (MET)-designed from theories of behavior change to standard clinical care. PAP discontinuation and adherence are the primary outcome measures. Both brief therapies decreased PAP discontinuation compared to standard care. The MET therapy performed best under the condition of flexible delivery of PAP, although differences were not statistically significant. Implications are discussed.

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