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The present study objective was to establish whether pretreatment social cognitive variables may contribute to the explanation of variance in adherence to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment for patients with obstructive sleep apnoea/hypopnoea syndrome (OSAHS). A total of 119 of 180 consecutive OSAHS patients were recruited to the study prior to initial CPAP titration. Patients completed psychological measures of health value, health locus of control (incorporating internality, chance, powerful others) and self-efficacy prior to CPAP titration. Objective adherence data were measured by CPAP unit time clocks and collected at 3-month follow-up. Average nightly use was calculated over this period. Logistic regression of prospective predictors of adherence produced a model comprising psychological (health value, internality, powerful others), as well as clinical variables (Epworth score, body mass index, apnoea/hypopnoea index, CPAP pressure). This model explained 24% of the variance in CPAP use, and correctly identified 75% of adherers and 53% of nonadherers. Although the psychological variables explained only a small amount of the overall variance in adherence behaviour, this result provides further support for the hypothesis that psychological variables contribute, in part, to continuous positive airway pressure adherence. Future research should focus on highlighting discrete variables, which may helpfully inform psychologically based interventions aimed at improving the use of continuous positive airway pressure by patients with obstructive sleep apnoea/hypopnoea syndrome at risk of discontinuance.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur Respir J

Publication Date





461 - 465


Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, Female, Humans, Internal-External Control, Logistic Models, Male, Middle Aged, Patient Compliance, Prospective Studies, Self Efficacy, Sleep Apnea, Obstructive, Surveys and Questionnaires