Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It’s All About Personality

A new study in the journal Sleep and Breathing found that personality might help researchers predict what patients will follow doctors’ orders.

Sleep experts estimate that 25 to 50 percent of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients do not comply with CPAP, the standard therapy. But doctors cannot always predict which patients will follow their treatment plan and which ones will leave their condition untreated.

Adherence is considered wearing a CPAP mask for at least four hours per night, 70 percent of nights. Compliance can be measured via data collected from the CPAP machine.

This study examined the relationship between adherence and three measures of personality and coping strategies. There were 63 subjects, including 31 men and 32 women previously diagnosed with OSA.

Ratings on the behavioral inhibition system/behavioral activation system (BIS/BAS) scales, the ways of coping inventory, and a broad personality measure (mini-IPIP) were analyzed.

Elevated BIS was the strongest predictor of nonadherence, followed by neuroticism. The method correctly classified 73 percent of participants as adherent or nonadherent.

Nonadherence is associated with elevated BIS scores and neuroticism, indicating that personality factors play a role in determining adherence to CPAP.

CPAP is not the only OSA treatment available. Oral appliance therapy is a good alternative for patients who do not tolerate or comply with CPAP.

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The Official Blog of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) is intended as an information source only. Content of this blog should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment, and it is not a substitute for medical care, which should be provided by the appropriate health care professional. If you suspect you have a sleep-related breathing disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you should consult your personal physician or visit an AASM-accredited sleep disorders center. The AADSM, and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, as the managing agent of the AADSM, assume no liability for the information contained on the Official Blog of the AADSM or for its use.