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Experiences of Using Positive Airway Pressure for Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea: A Systematic Review and Thematic Synthesis

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>17/05/2021
Publication StatusAccepted/In press
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Study objectives
Sub-optimal use of positive airway pressure (PAP) to treat obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) continues to be a major challenge to effective treatment. Meanwhile, the individual and societal impacts of untreated OSA make effective treatment a priority. Although extensive research has been conducted into factors that impact PAP use, it is estimated that at least half of users do not use it as prescribed. However, the voice of users is notably minimal in the literature. A systematic review and qualitative metasynthesis of PAP user experience was conducted to contribute to understandings of how PAP is experienced and to inform how usage could be improved.
PsycINFO, MEDLINE, CINAHL and EMBASE databases were systematically searched. Primary research findings of adult experiences using PAP that had been inductively analysed were included. Papers were critically appraised using the CASP qualitative checklist to generate a “hierarchy of evidence”. Thematic synthesis was then conducted to generate analytical themes. Results were presented in accordance with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA).
25 papers reporting on over 398 people’s experiences were analysed to generate 4 themes: Journey to PAP, Discomfort from and around PAP, Adapting to and using PAP, and Benefits from PAP. Author reflexivity and vulnerability to bias is acknowledged.
This metasynthesis gave voice to user experiences of PAP, revealing barriers to PAP use at a healthcare service level across the world. The findings highlight ways in which services may be able to address these barriers to enhance PAP use.