Factors influencing the use and nonuse of continuous positive airway pressure therapy: a comparative case study

Rehabil Nurs. 2009 Nov-Dec;34(6):230-6. doi: 10.1002/j.2048-7940.2009.tb00255.x.


The rates of sustained use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy among adults with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) appear consistently suboptimal, despite the efficacy of this treatment. Using semistructured interviews, this study identified facilitators and barriers toward CPAP therapy after treatment initiation among patients with OSA. A purposive sample of eight patients representing extreme differences in CPAP use was recruited from a multisite sleep disorders clinic at a tertiary health center. Perceived physical, psychological, and social factors were found to influence both CPAP use and nonuse. It was revealed that the way patients feel about themselves influences the ways in which they manage their OSA with or without CPAP This study underlines the necessity of working with patients and their families to create social environments that are both accepting and supportive of patients with OSA.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure / nursing
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organizational Case Studies
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology*
  • Prejudice
  • Self Concept
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / nursing
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / therapy*
  • Social Support*