How You can Help Your Husband Get Used to CPAP – a Study

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) improves sleep and quality of life for both patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and their spouses, but adherence to CPAP therapy can be a challenge.

A study by Dr Baron and colleagues at Northwestern University (the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine 2012) assessed the effect of spousal involvement in CPAP adherence in 23 married male OSA patients after the first week of treatment. At 3 months, 16 participants completed a second assessment of spousal involvement. Types of involvement assessed included positive (e.g., encouraging), negative (e.g., blaming), collaboration (e.g., working together), and one-sided (e.g., asking).

The result showed that collaborative spousal involvement was associated with higher CPAP adherence at 3 months.

CPAP adherence can eliminate excessive daytime sleepiness and reduce the risk of drowsy driving, uncontrolled blood pressure, blood sugar elevation, stroke, heart attack, congestive heart failure exacerbation, atrial fibrillation, and chronic lung disease exacerbation, but it can be difficult treatment to comply with the night after night. You can help your husband by collaborating from the beginning.

1. Tell him that you are happy he is trying to use CPAP.

2. Help him arrange the CPAP and supplies on the lampstand.

3. Repeatedly remind him to use CPAP.

4. Persuade and bargain with him to use CPAP.

Remember that this is a major lifestyle change and it can be difficult to adjust to CPAP. Your support can get him started on this life-saving treatment.


God bless you.