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Rehabil Nurs. 2009 Nov-Dec;34(6):230-6.

Factors influencing the use and nonuse of continuous positive airway pressure therapy: a comparative case study.

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Sleep Disorders Clinics, McGill University Health Center, McGill University School of Nursing, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


The rates of sustained use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy among adults with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) appear consistently suboptimal, despite the efficacy of this treatment. Using semistructured interviews, this study identified facilitators and barriers toward CPAP therapy after treatment initiation among patients with OSA. A purposive sample of eight patients representing extreme differences in CPAP use was recruited from a multisite sleep disorders clinic at a tertiary health center. Perceived physical, psychological, and social factors were found to influence both CPAP use and nonuse. It was revealed that the way patients feel about themselves influences the ways in which they manage their OSA with or without CPAP This study underlines the necessity of working with patients and their families to create social environments that are both accepting and supportive of patients with OSA.

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