Sleep therapy compliance

Compliance with positive airway pressure therapy for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is very high, between 80%-88%.1-3 The improvement in compliance over the last few years can be largely attributed to:

  • Improvements in mask design, which have made masks more comfortable4
  • Greater provision of support (education, troubleshooting, coping strategies) to CPAP users (especially new users)5-8
  • Minimization of mouth leak (which causes nasal congestion, nasal dryness, and sore throat in up to 40% of CPAP patients9 and 100% of NPPV patients10 by means of heated humidification11, 12—or a full face mask13
  • For patients requiring higher treatment pressure, the use of ResMed AutoSet devices14



Pepin JL, Krieger J, Rodenstein D, Cornette A, Sforza E, Delguste P, Deschaux C, Grillier V, Levy P. Effective compliance during the first 3 months of continuous positive airway pressure. A European prospective study of 121 patients.   Am J Respir Crit Care Med 1999;160(4):1124-9.


Kalan A, Kenyon GS, Seemungal TA, Wedzicha JA. Adverse effects of nasal continuous positive airway pressure therapy in sleep apnoea syndrome.  J Laryngol Otol 1999;113(10):888-92.


Smith et al. Sleep 2003; 26(Sup.) A: 406-407.


Lewis KE, Seale L, Bartle IE, Watkins AJ, Ebden P.  Early predictors of CPAP use for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep 2004;27(1):134-8.


Stepnowsky CJ Jr, Bardwell WA, Moore PJ, Ancoli-Israel S, Dimsdale JE. Psychologic correlates of compliance with continuous positive airway pressure. Sleep 2002;25(7):758-62.


Chervin RD, Theut S, Bassetti C, Aldrich MS.  Compliance with nasal CPAP can be improved by simple interventions.  Sleep 1997;20(4):284-89.


Richards GN, Cistulli PA, Ungar RG, Berthon-Jones M, Sullivan CE.  Am J Respir Crit Care Med 1996;154(1):182-186.


Meyer TJ, Pressman MR, Benditt J, McCool FD, Millman RP, Natarajan R, Hill NS.Air leaking through the mouth during nocturnal nasal ventilation: effect on sleep quality. Sleep 1997;20(7):561-569.


Rakotonanahary D, Pelletier-Fleury N, Gagnadoux F, Fleury B. Predictive factors for the need for additional humidification during nasal continuous positive airway pressure therapy. Chest 2001;119(2):460-465.


Martins De Araujo MT, Vieira SB, Vasquez EC, Fleury B. Heated humidification or face mask to prevent upper airway dryness during continuous positive airway pressure therapy. Chest 2000;117(1):142-147 Comment in: Chest 2000;117(3):617-9.


Massie CA, McArdle N, Hart RW, Schmidt-Nowara WW, Lankford A, Hudgel DW, Gordon N, Douglas NJ. Comparison between automatic and fixed positive airway pressure therapy in the home. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2003;167(1):20-3.