Can patients with obstructive sleep apnea titrate their own continuous positive airway pressure?

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2003 Mar 1;167(5):716-22. doi: 10.1164/rccm.200204-360OC.


Manual continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) titration in a sleep laboratory is costly and limits access for diagnostic studies. Many factors affect CPAP compliance, but education and support, rather than in-laboratory CPAP titration, appear to be pivotal. Self-adjustment of CPAP at home will provide equal or superior efficacy in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) as compared with in-laboratory titration. A randomized, single-blind, two-period crossover trial of CPAP treatment at the in-laboratory-determined optimal pressure versus at-home self-adjustment of CPAP (starting pressure based on prediction equation). Eighteen CPAP-naive patients (16 males, 50 +/- 15 years old, apnea hypopnea index 40 +/- 20) with a new diagnosis of OSA were tested. Testing was performed before and after CPAP treatment in each of two 5-week study limbs. CPAP, compliance with CPAP treatment, the Sleep Apnea Quality of Life Index, the Functional Outcomes of Sleep Questionnaire score, the Epworth sleepiness scale score, sleep architecture, sleep apnea severity, and maintenance of wakefulness tests were performed. Both modes of CPAP treatment significantly improved objective and subjective measures of OSA, but they did not differ in efficacy. Home self-titration of CPAP is as effective as in-laboratory manual titration in the management of patients with OSA.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Positive-Pressure Respiration*
  • Quality of Life
  • Self Care*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Sleep
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / diagnosis
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / therapy*
  • Sleep, REM
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Titrimetry
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wakefulness