Background: Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). Consistent adherence to CPAP improves the patient's longevity and quality of life as well as public safety. However, nonadherence is a significant contributor to the growing burden of untreated OSAS, and is associated with negative consequences for the patient, public safety, and the healthcare system.
Objective: The use of CPAP is a classic example of an effective treatment for which adherence is extremely variable. This paper examines a multiplicity of factors that influence CPAP adherence.
Factors: These factors are traditionally thought of in terms of patient and equipment variables, but in addition physician, family, healthcare facility, and governmental issues all contribute to CPAP adherence.
Discussion: These factors are reviewed and pragmatic recommendations are made for improving clinical practice.