Objective: To assess the sustainability of an improvement in symptoms of depression using CPAP therapy in patients with obstructive sleep apnea.
Patients/methods: Patients referred to our center for evaluation of obstructive sleep apnea who had a respiratory disturbance index (RDI) of > or =15 and who demonstrated a significant response to CPAP (50% or greater drop in RDI), were evaluated for symptoms of depression using the Beck Depression Inventory-Fast Screen for Medical Patients (BDI). These individuals were asked to complete the BDI assessment again after 4 to 6 weeks of treatment with CPAP (short-term follow-up), and then reassessed approximately one year later (long-term follow-up).
Results: In this group of patients, the institution of CPAP therapy resulted in a significant decrease in those symptoms of depression assessed by the BDI at both the short-term and long-term follow-up periods.
Conclusions: For patients with OSA who continue CPAP therapy, we noted a statistically significant, sustained improvement in those symptoms of depression measured by the BDI.