Life changes in individuals diagnosed with sleep apnea while accommodating to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices

Rehabil Nurs. 2007 Nov-Dec;32(6):241-50. doi: 10.1002/j.2048-7940.2007.tb00181.x.


Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices are effective in preventing the sequela of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA); however, compliance with the device is problematic. This study's purpose is to longitudinally discover OSA patients experiences with CPAP. A hermeneutic phenomenological approach was used to obtain narrative stories for interpretive analysis. 20 patients were prescribed CPAP at an urban sleep center Five themes and one constitutive pattern included (1) trouble using CPAP, (2) needing to persist through initial and recurring frustration, (3) difficulty recognizing subtle improvements, (4) accessing help and problem solving, and (5) becoming part of the routine or abandoning the device. Perseverence through tribulations by developing a positive mind-set was the constitutive pattern. The implications are that rehabilitation nurses should understand the difficulties with CPAP compliance so that they may assist patients with device issues and offer encouragement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure / adverse effects*
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure / nursing
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure / psychology*
  • Female
  • Frustration
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Nurse's Role / psychology
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Problem Solving
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Rehabilitation Nursing
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / psychology*
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / therapy
  • Social Support
  • Surveys and Questionnaires