Experiences of Persons Living with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
Investigator: Beth Rodgers, PhD, RN, FAAN

Affects some 18 million people in the U.S. and can cause excessive daytime sleepiness resulting in accidents and compromised life quality.

OSA has been associated with stroke, heart failure, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, depression, and gastrointestinal disturbance. In addition to sleep hygiene and weight loss strategies, administration of Positive Airway Pressure (PAP) through an apparatus worn while sleeping is a treatment mainstay documented to result in decreased sleepiness and complications. Yet, in spite of its effectiveness, adherence to PAP therapy is known to be poor—and little is known about actual experiences of persons living with OSA. While lifestyle adjustment activities are known to promote improved sleep, the perspectives of persons engaged in these activities is largely absent from the literature.

The purpose of this study is to provide in-depth exploration of those perspectives, including:
  • barriers to treatment effectiveness
  • self-management and adherence
  • self-identified strategies employed by persons to manage their condition

A diverse sample of adults living with OSA has been recruited and a combination of telephone, electronic and face-to-face data collection has maximized this variety of subjects and experiences.

The goal is to derive substantive theory from the data to facilitate understanding of the experiences of persons living with OSA, as well as to contribute to a broader understanding of self-management practices among persons with chronic conditions.