PURPOSE: Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) applied to the nose is the standard treatment for patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). Unfortunately, a wide variety of CPAP devices with a bewildering array of features is available for prescription. We performed a small clinical trial to gauge subject comfort level with a novel CPAP machine providing very-nearly contant pressure(maintained even during exhalation) to the patient. The primary purpose of the study was to explore and frame issues for a much larger trial addressing “Is more complexity necessarily better?”.
METHODS: A prospective eight-patient study was launched whereby patient sleep disturbance levels (determined from a full overnight sleep laboratory polysomnograph, PSG) were compared to exit interviews about device comfort and informal exploration of patient understanding of sleep therapy CPAP options. The novel CPAP was operated in two modes: (A) a tightly controlled constant pressure mode and (B) a “floating” pressure mode.
RESULTS: Preliminary exit interview results on system comfort correllated well with PSG measurements of sleep disturbance levels. Patient knowledge of sleep hygene and sleep disease corresponded with a short-term tolerance for device differences.
CONCLUSION: Preliminary results from the study suggest that a certain patient cohort can indeed experience comfortable sleep with traditional constant pressure delivery devices. This limited study involving a small group of patients was effective in framing the issues to explore in a broader study.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Higher patient awareness of sleep therapy options does not necessarily drive a preference for the most technically complex CPAP unit.
DISCLOSURE: Colin Drummond, Employee Invacare Corporation; Product/procedure/technique that is considered research and is NOT yet approved for any purpose, A novel CPAP device.