Healthcare-seeking behaviour and utilization of treatment in a community-based screening study for obstructive sleep apnoea in Busselton, Western Australia

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Objectives: To investigate whether in-home screening for obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) promotes healthcare-seeking or lifestyle modification behaviour. We also examined the uptake and adherence rates to different treatment options, the factors affecting adherence, and the impact of treatment on health-related quality of life. Design: Follow-up survey of adults at high risk of OSA. Setting: Community-based sample. Participants: Adults who completed an in-home sleep study in the 2005-07 or 2010-15 Busselton surveys of adults with apnoea-hypopnoea index (AHI) > 15 (n = 192). Measurements: The follow-up questionnaire was administered in 2016 and assessed healthcare-seeking and lifestyle modification behaviour, treatment utilization and adherence, and health-related quality of life. Results: Of the 159 that recalled receiving a result from their in-home sleep study, 65% (n = 103) sought help and/or made lifestyle changes, 49% (n = 78) discussed the results with their GP, 21% (n = 33) underwent a confirmatory study and 33% (n = 53) started treatment. The most common treatment used was continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) (72%) and adherence rates were high (84%). Self-reported snoring, breathing pauses, daytime tiredness and AHI were identified as predictors of whether people displayed healthcare-seeking behaviour. Conclusions: This study provides promising evidence that in-home screening for OSA could contribute towards relieving the associated morbidity, especially if health promotion strategies including education are implemented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-100
JournalSleep Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


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