Changes in depressive symptoms after continuous positive airway pressure treatment for obstructive sleep apnea

Melanie K. Means, Kenneth L. Lichstein, Jack D. Edinger, Daniel J. Taylor, H. Heith Durrence, Aatif M. Husain, R. Neal Aguillard, Rodney A. Radtke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations

Abstract

It is generally believed that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) causes depression in some patients, yet it is unknown whether this depression is an actual clinical phenomenon or purely a result of overlapping somatic/physical symptoms shared by both disorders. The present study investigated changes in both somatic and affective/cognitive symptoms of depression associated with the introduction of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment for OSA. Participants were 39 outpatients (35 males, 4 females) with no current or past mental health problems, diagnosed with OSA in a hospital sleep disorders clinic. The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) was administered prior to treatment and again 3 months after CPAP. Total BDI scores improved after CPAP, independent of objectively monitored CPAP compliance rates. Both somatic and affective/ cognitive symptoms of depression improved in a similar manner after treatment. Our findings suggest that depressive symptoms experienced by OSA patients are not solely the result of physical OSA symptoms but include a mood component as well. We introduce a hypothetical model to conceptualize the relationship between OSA and depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-42
Number of pages12
JournalSleep and Breathing
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2003
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • CPAP
  • Depression
  • Sleep apnea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Clinical Neurology

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