Original Article

Sleep and Breathing

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 239-244

First online:

Effect of a 2 week CPAP treatment on mood states in patients with obstructive sleep apnea: a double-blind trial

  • Alexander HaenselAffiliated withDepartment of General Internal Medicine, University Hospital BerneDepartment of Psychiatry, University of CaliforniaUSCD Psychiatry Email author 
  • , Daniel NormanAffiliated withPulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University of California
  • , Loki NatarajanAffiliated withMoores UCSD Cancer Center
  • , Wayne A. BardwellAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, University of CaliforniaMoores UCSD Cancer Center
  • , Sonia Ancoli-IsraelAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, University of CaliforniaMoores UCSD Cancer Center
  • , Joel E. DimsdaleAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, University of CaliforniaMoores UCSD Cancer Center

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Abstract

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common disease with significant medical and psychiatric comorbidities. The literature documenting the effects of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment on mood in OSA patients is mixed. We previously observed that 1 week of CPAP treatment did not result in improvements in mood beyond those observed in a group treated with placebo–CPAP. This study examined the effect of a 2 week CPAP treatment on mood in a placebo-controlled design in OSA patients. Fifty patients with untreated sleep apnea were evaluated by polysomnography and completed the Profile of Mood States (POMS) pre-/post-treatment. The patients were randomized for 2 weeks to either therapeutic CPAP or placebo–CPAP (at insufficient pressure). Both the therapeutic CPAP and the placebo–CPAP groups showed significant improvements in POMS total score, tension, fatigue, and confusion. No significant time × treatment effect was observed for either group. We could not show a specific beneficial impact of CPAP treatment on mood in OSA patients.

Keywords

Obstructive sleep apnea Mood disorders Continuous positive airway pressure POMS