Original Article

Treatment choice by patients with obstructive sleep apnea: data from two centers in China

Wen-Jing Liao, Li-Juan Song, Hong-Liang Yi, Jian Guan, Jian-Yin Zou, Hua-Jun Xu, Gang Wang, Fei Ma, Li-Bo Zhou, Yu-Qing Chen, Li-Bo Yan, Zhi-Cheng Deng, Walter T. McNicholas, Shan-Kai Yin, Nan-Shan Zhong, Xiao-Wen Zhang


Background: Standard management has been recommended for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) by several guidelines, but patient choice in the practical setting is unclear.
Methods: A survey nested in two prospective cohort studies of OSA (enrollment: 2001–2010) in China. The last interview was conducted between July 2014 and May 2015, using a comprehensive 10-point questionnaire administered in a face-to-face or telephone interview, and assessed (I) whether the participant had received any OSA treatment; (II) why he or she had decided for or against treatment; (III) what treatment was received; (IV) whether the participant used continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or OA daily; and (V) the perceived efficacy of therapy.
Results: A total of 4,097 subjects with a mean age of 45 years [37–55] responded to this survey, with a response rate of 79.4% (4,097/5,160); 2,779 subjects (67.8%) did not receive any treatment: 1,485 (53.4%) believed that their condition was not serious, despite severe OSA in 53.7% of the patients. A multivariate regression showed that the decision to receive treatment was associated with: age between 45–59 years [odds ratio (OR) 0.805, 95% CI: 0.691–0.936; P<0.001], female gender (OR 0.492, 95% CI: 0.383–0.631; P<0.001), severe OSA (OR 1.92, 95% CI: 1.01–3.64; P<0.001), hypertension (OR 1.414, 95% CI: 1.209–1.654; P<0.001) and diabetes (OR 1.760, 95% CI: 1.043–2.972; P=0.034). In subjects receiving treatment (n=1,318), 50.9% reported negative perceptions about the treatments.
Conclusions: Nearly two thirds of Chinese patients choose not to receive treatment after OSA diagnosis, and nearly half are negative about their treatments for OSA. This requires clinical attention, and warrants further study in different geographic settings.

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