What is a Clinically Meaningful Target for Positive Airway Pressure Adherence?

Aaron Oh, Nicole Grivell, Ching Li Chai-Coetzer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Although good adherence to continuous positive airway pressure (PAP) traditionally is defined as greater than or equal to 4 hours/night, the origins and rationale for this remain unclear. Research studies report variation in optimal duration of PAP adherence, depending on outcome of interest. Evidence demonstrates benefit with PAP for daytime sleepiness, quality of life, neurocognitive outcomes, depression, and hypertension, predominantly in symptomatic, moderate–severe obstructive sleep apnea. Recent randomized controlled trials, however, have failed to demonstrate a reduction in cardiovascular and mortality risks. This review explores the question of what can be considered a clinically meaningful outcome for PAP adherence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalSleep Medicine Clinics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
N. Grivell and C.L. Chai-Coetzer are currently involved in research for a Centres of Research Excellence in Health Services Research (Primary Health Care) that has been funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (ID1134954). A. Oh has nothing to disclose.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Inc.


  • Adherence
  • Compliance
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • PAP
  • Positive airway pressure


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