How is compliance with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) measured during treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?

Updated: Sep 15, 2020
  • Author: Himanshu Wickramasinghe, MD, MBBS; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Answer

Compliance with CPAP therapy can be objectively measured. [46] Most modern CPAP devices measure both "machine-on" and "mask-on" times, with the mask-on time used to measure compliance. Compliance data are downloaded onto electronic chips from which compliance reports can be downloaded during follow-up appointments. These reports allow the physician to have real-time data on compliance, allowing him or her to immediately address problems. Examples of a compliance report are shown in the image below.

Examples of good (upper panel) and poor (lower pan Examples of good (upper panel) and poor (lower panel) compliance. In the upper panel, the patient is using continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) most nights and generally for more than 4 hours (solid black line). In the lower panel, the patient is using CPAP infrequently and, when used, is wearing the CPAP device for less than 4 hours.

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