PURPOSE: Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is the first line therapy for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), however compliance is poor. Various educational strategies to improve CPAP compliance have been studied, however outcomes have not been well defined. The purpose of this study was to compare the impact of individual versus group educational programs on CPAP compliance.
METHODS: We conducted a retrospective chart review of patients newly diagnosed with OSA in the Sleep Disorders Clinic between January 2009 and March 2010. Patients either participated in individual or group educational programs prior to the initiation of CPAP therapy. Baseline demographic, polysomnographic data and CPAP compliance at one month were recorded.
RESULTS: 729 patients (434 group education, 295 individual education) were included in this study. 85.2% were male with a mean age of 45.3 ± 9.5 years. The mean body mass index and apnea-hypopnea index were 30.5 ± 4.8 kg/m2 and 31.1 ± 25.9 events/hour respectively. The mean ESS was 30.5 ± 5.2. There was a statistically significant improvement in the total hours CPAP was used and the hours CPAP was used on nights used. There was a trend towards significance in CPAP compliance among patients with regular use who received group education.
CONCLUSION: While group and individual educational programs demonstrated similar overall compliance rates at one month, there was a trend towards improved compliance in patients receiving group education.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Group CPAP education may be an appropriate alternative to individual counseling and may contribute to improved overall compliance. In sleep centers where individual counseling may not be available or feasible, group counseling provides an equally efficacious and potentially more efficient educational strategy to improve CPAP compliance.
DISCLOSURE: Robert Walter, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information