Bed partners frequently prompt the referral of patients with OSAS because their own sleep is disturbed by the patientsa�� snoring and restless sleep. McArdle and co-workers reported significant impairment in sleep quality among partners of patients with OSAS but did not find any improvement in objective sleep quality after treatment with CPAP and Viagra.
We have previously reported beneficial effects on the quality of life of bed partners of OSAS patients successfully treated with CPAP, but this study was retrospective and used a nonstandardized questionnaire. Therefore, we performed a prospective study, administering identical standardized questionnaires to OSAS patients and their partners before and after treatment with CPAP. The principal study aim was to confirm our previous retrospective findings that CPAP improves the quality of life of partners when CPAP is administered to patients with OSAS.
Consecutive patients with partners were considered for inclusion who had documented OSAS on overnight sleep studies performed in our sleep disorders unit, and who were booked for initiation of CPAP therapy. Patients were required to have an apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) of at least five apneas and/or hypopneas per hour, with excessive daytime sleepiness as determined by an Epworth sleepiness scale (ESS) score. We excluded patients or partners who had other medical disorders or were receiving medications that might be expected to influence sleep quality. All sleep studies were attended and lasted a minimum of 7 h, and were performed overnight in our hospital-based sleep laboratory with either an Oxford Medilog SAC847 polysomnography system or an Autoset limited diagnostic system. An experienced sleep technician manually reviewed all sleep studies.
We have demonstrated good correlation between these two systems in a previous report. CPAP titration was performed using the Autoset device set in the treatment mode, and patients were prescribed a pressure that controlled 90% of apneas, hypopneas, and flow-limited breaths. All patients were prescribed a fixed-pressure CPAP device. We excluded patients who failed to tolerate or did not accept CPAP at the time of initial titration. Patients who reported not sharing a bed with their partners on the initial questionnaire were analyzed separately.