[Treatment of sleep apnea syndrome with CPAP: compliance with treatment, its efficacy and secondary effects]

Rev Neurol. 1998 Mar;26(151):375-80.
[Article in Spanish]


Introduction: Continuous positive pressure via the nose (nasal-CPAP) is the first line of treatment in the sleep apnea syndrome (SAS). Long term compliance with treatment is essential for success and this may depend on the relation of benefit to side-effects.

Objective: To study the improvement in symptoms of SAS patients treated with CPAP, side-effects and compliance with treatment.

Material and methods: In accordance with the objectives a 10 question questionnaire was given to 65 patients diagnosed as having SAS after polysomnographic studies (PSG) who were being treated with CPAP.

Results: Eighty per cent of the patients complied with the treatment prescribed and 82% of these considered it to be effective. Ninety per cent of the patients noticed improvement of 50% of their symptoms and 48% noticed improvement of more than 80%. The daytime symptoms which showed most improvement were the feeling of tiredness on waking (94.1%) and of excessive somnolence during the day. The nocturnal symptoms which most improved were snoring and inability to breathe whilst asleep (100% and 95.1% respectively). Ninety per cent of the patients complained of a side-effect and/or problem with the equipment. The commonest complaints were related to nasal problems (dryness, congestion, rhinorrhea, etc), which affected 61.5%. The main complaint about the equipment was of the noise it made (46%). However, only 6% of the patients gave up the treatment because of side-effects.

Conclusion: CPAP is an effective treatment which is well tolerated in spite of its drawbacks.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Positive-Pressure Respiration / adverse effects*
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / diagnosis
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / therapy*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome