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Volume 15 No. 01
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Accepted Papers

Scientific Investigations

Symptoms During CPAP Therapy Are the Major Reason for Contacting the Sleep Unit Between Two Routine Contacts

Heidi Avellan-Hietanen, MD; Pirkko Brander, MD, PhD; Adel Bachour, MD, PhD
Sleep Unit, Heart and Lung Centre, Helsinki University Hospital, University of Helsinki, Finland

Study Objectives:

The demand for continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy outpaces available resources in most health care settings. We sought to evaluate predictors of nonroutine CPAP follow-up visits to improve resource utilization.


We randomly analyzed 1,141 of the 2,446 patients who had received at least 1 year of CPAP therapy. Reasons for contacts, type (routine = R, nonroutine = NR), and mode (face-to-face or not, physician, nurse) were collected.


A total of 771 patients were classified R, and 370 NR. Age, profession, and sex did not affect the NR frequency. Symptoms increased the odds ratio for NR 12.1-fold, somnolence 34.8-fold, and suffocation at night 10.4-fold. Patients with nonroutine reasons abandoned CPAP therapy significantly (7.6-fold) more frequently than patients with routine reasons.


Symptoms during CPAP therapy predicted the nonroutine contacts well. In line with this, patients with symptoms have become a priority follow-up group, and could constitute the only follow-up policy when dealing with insufficient medical resources.


Avellan-Hietanen H, Brander P, Bachour A. Symptoms during CPAP therapy are the major reason for contacting the sleep unit between two routine contacts. J Clin Sleep Med. 2019;15(1):47–53.

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