Friday, October 29, 2010

Dedication to CPAP Takes a Positive Personality

Do you view CPAP as the machine that can save your health or is it a consequence of your lifestyle choices? How you answer may predict whether you’ll stick with CPAP or become the 25-50 percent of obstructive sleep apnea patients who leave their condition untreated.

A study in the journal Sleep and Breathing examined what types of personalities adhere to CPAP, the front-line treatment for obstructive sleep apnea.

A positive outlook plays the biggest role, researchers discovered. The ideal patient is optimistic and responsive to the rewards from treatment, such as increased energy and improved mood.Pessimists and people with strong feelings of fear and anxiety will likely have a much more difficult time in the initial stages of CPAP therapy.

The study involved 31 men and 32 women previously diagnosed with sleep apnea. Their personalities were classified using a series of personality inventories completed at the beginning of the study.

Researchers referred to each of the patient’s medical records to look at CPAP adherence. The study defined adherence as using CPAP for at least 4 hours a night for about 5 nights per week.

By comparing personality types to medical records, researchers discovered positive or negative outlook predicted CPAP adherence 3 out of 4 times.

The findings are great news for the type of people who look at the bright side of things. There’s still hope even if you see the glass as half empty. It just might take some extra work.

Doctors are increasingly referring CPAP patients to behavioral sleep specialists who can help you improve your outlook and tackle the challenges of changing your lifestyle.

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