Introduction Many patients with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) experience excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) despite primary airway therapy. This study aimed to understand the burden of EDS in European adults with OSA who received primary airway therapy.
Methods Non-interventional, qualitative study in patients with EDS in OSA, from the UK, Germany, and Spain. Post-IRB approval, patients with self-reported OSA were recruited via patient panels. Eligible patients had Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) score ≥10, self-reported adequate nightly sleep, current/past primary airway therapy, and no other self-reported EDS-associated conditions. Patients completed a quantitative pre-interview questionnaire and a qualitative, semi-structured telephone interview.
Results Fifteen patients (n=5/country; 60% female; mean age, 48.7 years; mean years since OSA diagnosis, 7.7) were included. Six of 8 current positive airway pressure (PAP) users were compliant (≥4 h, 7 nights/wk); 6 of 7 non-PAP users had prior airway surgery. Mean ESS score was 14.5; 60% of those without an EDS diagnosis reported discussing EDS with their doctor. Patients experienced broadly consistent negative impacts from EDS, including physical functioning (n=15), daily life activities (n=15), work/study habits (n=14), emotional (n=15), social life (n=14), and cognition (n=13). No between-country differences were observed.
Discussion Findings demonstrate the patient-perceived burden of residual EDS in OSA. Forty percent of patients without an EDS diagnosis did not discuss EDS with their doctor despite daily impacts.
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