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Eur Respir J. 2009 Apr;33(4):804-11. doi: 10.1183/09031936.00023408. Epub 2009 Jan 7.

Compliance in sleep apnoea therapy: influence of home care support and pressure mode.

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Dept of Pneumology, University Hospital Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.


Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS) but therapy adherence is often low. The hypothesis that CPAP-adherence and clinical outcomes can be improved by either using an autoadjusting-CPAP (APAP) device or an intensive support was tested. A controlled parallel group study was performed with 100 newly diagnosed OSAS patients, randomised into 4 groups (n = 25 each): standard or intensive support plus either APAP or CPAP. Intensive support included education and monthly home visits for 6 months. Clinical outcome was monitored by polysomnography at CPAP initiation and, after 3 and 9 months, compliance data were downloaded from the CPAP devices. After 9 months, intensively supported patients returned for follow-up in 88 versus 68% in the standard-support-group. Daily usage (mean+/-sem 5.7+/-0.2 for intensive support versus 4.6+/-0.4 h for standard support), percentage of days used (80.4+/-2.8 versus 57.0+/-5.9%) and proportion of individual sleep time (80.6+/-3.2 versus 64.9+/-6.2%) were also higher. There was no significant difference between APAP or CPAP, (daily usage 5.2+/-0.4 versus 5.1+/-0.3 h, percentage of days 67.9+/-5.0 versus 69.2+/-4.9%, proportion of sleep time 72.5+/-5.0% versus 72.1+/-5.2%, for APAP and CPAP) but retention rate was higher with CPAP. In summary, intensive support after continuous positive airway pressure initiation, rather than the application of autoadjusting-continuous positive airway pressure, increased therapy adherence.

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