Sleep and Breathing

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 31–42 | Cite as

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
Original Article

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.

Keywords

Sleep apnea depression CPAP 

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Copyright information

© Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc. 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melanie K. Means
    • 1
    • 6
  • Kenneth L. Lichstein
    • 2
  • Jack D. Edinger
    • 1
    • 3
  • Daniel J. Taylor
    • 4
  • H. Heith Durrence
    • 2
  • Aatif M. Husain
    • 1
    • 3
  • R. Neal Aguillard
    • 5
  • Rodney A. Radtke
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Veterans Affairs Medical CenterDurham
  2. 2.The University of MemphisMemphis
  3. 3.Duke University Medical CenterDurham
  4. 4.Brown Medical SchoolProvidence
  5. 5.Methodist University HospitalMemphis
  6. 6.Psychology Service 116B, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical CenterDurham

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