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PAP helps battle depression in sleep apnea patients

PAP helps battle depression in sleep apnea patients
12th June 2012

Positive airway pressure (PAP) helps to combat depressive symptoms for all patients with sleep apnea, according to a new study.

Researchers from the Cleveland Clinic Sleep Disorders Center found positive results in all patients that used PAP, whether they followed the guidelines precisely of not.

The team investigated 779 people with obstructive sleep apnea and their response to PAP by asking them to fill out a standardised PHQ-9 forms to assess depressive symptoms prior to treatment.

After PAP therapy participants were asked to fill out the forms again and researchers found that all showed improvements in their PHQ-9 scores.

The most positive results were found in those who used PAP devices for more than four hours at night.

However, it was found that their marital status and whether they were sleepy when using PAP affected their depression.

Dr Charles Bae, principal investigator of the study, commented: "The improvements were greatest in sleepy, adherent patients but even non-adherent patients had better PHQ-9 scores.

"Another interesting finding was that among patients treated with PAP, married patients had a greater decrease in PHQ-9 scores."

The marital status of patients has also been found to affect outcomes in other conditions, including stroke. It is believed that this is because a partner can help in care.

Read about support and personalised care at Barchester care homes for anyone with mental health concerns.