Background: CPAP remains the treatment of choice for Obstructive Sleep Apnea Hypopnea Syndrome (OSAHS), but compliance with CPAP is poor. Of many interventions tried to improve CPAP compliance, only education and humidification have been shown to be of benefit. Our purpose was to develop and pilot test a video to enhance patient understanding of obstructive sleep apnea and of the purpose, logistics, and benefits of CPAP use in patients newly diagnosed with OSAHS. A patient's CPAP compliance in the first few weeks after starting its use is predictive of long-term compliance with CPAP treatment. It is imperative that patients grasp at the outset both the severity of OSAHS and the effectiveness of CPAP therapy.
Methods: An educational video script was written based on recommendations for patient educational video materials and covering identified misconceptions about OSAHS and perceived barriers to CPAP use. The videotape is 15 min in length and features two middle-aged males, one African-American and one Euro-American, discussing OSAHS and CPAP in a factory break room.
Results: In a randomized two-group design with a control group, patients with newly diagnosed OSAHS, and who viewed the CPAP educational video on their first clinic, were significantly more likely to use their machine and to return for a 1-month clinic visit than were those in the control group.
Conclusion: Viewing of a patient education video at the initial visit was found to significantly improve the rate of return for the follow-up visit.