Sleep experts estimate that 25 to 50 percent of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients do not comply with CPAP, the standard therapy. But doctors cannot always predict which patients will follow their treatment plan and which ones will leave their condition untreated.
Adherence is considered wearing a CPAP mask for at least four hours per night, 70 percent of nights. Compliance can be measured via data collected from the CPAP machine.
This study examined the relationship between adherence and three measures of personality and coping strategies. There were 63 subjects, including 31 men and 32 women previously diagnosed with OSA.
Ratings on the behavioral inhibition system/behavioral activation system (BIS/BAS) scales, the ways of coping inventory, and a broad personality measure (mini-IPIP) were analyzed.
Elevated BIS was the strongest predictor of nonadherence, followed by neuroticism. The method correctly classified 73 percent of participants as adherent or nonadherent.
Nonadherence is associated with elevated BIS scores and neuroticism, indicating that personality factors play a role in determining adherence to CPAP.
CPAP is not the only OSA treatment available. Oral appliance therapy is a good alternative for patients who do not tolerate or comply with CPAP.