A research abstract that will be presented on Monday at SLEEP 2009, the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies says that men who work with their female partners while receiving continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are more likely to adhere to their treatment.
Results indicate that patients who work with their partners have the highest level of adherence for CPAP therapy. Encouragement, the use of negative tactics (such as evoking fear or blame) and reminding did not produce an increase in treatment adherence.
The study obtained demographic and relationship quality information from 23 married/cohabitating male OSA patients before CPAP initiation, and included adherence data from 14 men. Partner involvement with CPAP was assessed at day 10 and three months post CPAP initiation using 25-item measure of tactics to encourage healthful behavior. Tactics used included positive (encouraging) negative (blaming) bilateral (working together) and unilateral (reminding).
According to the principal investigator, Kelly Glazer Baron, PhD, postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., the study showed that patients who believed that their relationships were more supportive were more likely to work together with their partner while using CPAP.
"We know that in many health conditions, having a supportive partner can improve adherence and emotional well being when dealing with a chronic illness," said Baron. "This is the first study in CPAP treatment to show that working together with the partner in an active and supportive manner was associated with better adherence."
CPAP is the most common and effective treatment for OSA. By working to normalize breathing, CPAP helps protect patients from the severe health risks that are related to OSA, which include heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and stroke.
More information about OSA is available from the AASM at www.sleepeducation.com