Improving PAP Adherence in Younger Patients With OSA: William Noah, MD


The director and founder of the Sleep Centers of Middle Tennessee discussed trends in positive airway pressure adherence that his center’s research has revealed.

“The coolest thing we found…was that adherence is almost linear. In other words, if you graph age and adherence, it’s almost linear, starting with younger people having the lowest adherence. That’s important because we really need to spend more time and more effort with younger individuals.”

Recent research by the Sleep Centers of Middle Tennessee suggests that patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) receiving positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy machines through an integrated sleep practice (ISP) had better long term-adherence to the therapy than those who received it from traditional durable medical equipment suppliers (DMEs).

NeurologyLive spoke with William Noah, MD, senior author of the study and the director and founder of the Sleep Centers of Middle Tennessee, about the paper and other research that the center has been conducting that has revealed trends in PAP adherence. (Editor’s note: Noah was kind enough to speak with us while snowed in and working at his farm, so he asks that you please excuse his appearance on video.)

Noah discussed several findings, including that patients that stop adhering to PAP therapy are most likely to quit between 3 to 7 months of use and how support during this period is crucial to long-term adherence. He also stressed the importance of improving adherence in younger patients that had the lowest rates of adherence.

Andry JM, Tobin G, Shafin C, Noah W. Positive airway pressure therapy supplied by an integrated sleep practice associated with greater adherence among pre–Medicare-aged patients with sleep-disordered breathing. J Clin Sleep Med. 2021. 17(1):31-36. doi: 10.5664/jcsm.8786
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