Partners of patients with sleep apnoea/hypopnoea syndrome: effect of CPAP treatment of sleep quality and quality of life

McArdle, N.; Kingshott, R.; Engleman, H. M.; Mackay, T. W.; Douglas, N. J.
July 2001
Thorax;Jul2001, Vol. 56 Issue 7, p513
Academic Journal
Background-The sleep apnoea/hypopnoea syndrome (SAHS) causes snoring, apnoeas, and restlessness during sleep which partners frequently complain about. A study was undertaken to determine the impact on partners of SAHS and of treatment of the patient with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). Methods-Forty nine partners and patients with SAHS booked for CPAP treatment completed in house and validated questionnaires (Pittsburgh sleep quality index, Short Form 36 self-reported health status) before the patient started treatment. Twenty three couples in whom the index SAHS patient had no driving problems were recruited to a randomised crossover trial with 1 month limbs of CPAP and placebo capsule. At the end of each limb the partners' sleep was monitored by home polysomnography (PSG) and questionnaires were completed. Results-Before treatment partners frequently reported moderate to severe disturbance from patient snoring/apnoeas/ restlessness and had poor sleep quality and self-reported health status. In the crossover study (22 completed) the partners' objective sleep quality did not differ between CPAP and placebo, but they reported benefit from treatment of the patients with CPAP in subjective sleep quality (p0.05) and disturbance to sleep (p0.03). The reported change in partners' sleep quality between pre-study and following CPAP treatment correlated positively with CPAP use (r=0.5, p=0.01). Conclusions-Partners of patients with SAHS have poor sleep quality and self- reported health status but only subjective sleep quality benefits from treatment of the patient with CPAP.


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