Telemedicine journal and e-health : the official journal of the American Telemedicine Association 2017 10 13() doi 10.1089/tmj.2017.0134
Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, a chronic respiratory disease, requires regular adherence to Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy. Telemonitoring may be relevant to support adherence, but nonetheless this raises ethical issues around the intrusive nature of the daily life of patients Objective: To explore the acceptance of telemonitoring by patients and the impact of this on adherence.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
A prospective and observational study has been performed with 160 patients who initiated their CPAP therapy. The acceptability of telemonitoring was studied using an attitudes’ scale of 8 items. A total of 160 patients (111 men, 49 women) responded to the questionnaire at 1 month upon treatment. The adoption of both telemonitoring and adherence behavior were observed at 10 months of therapy.
A majority (78%) of patients expressed a favorable attitude toward telemonitoring, but nearly 40% consider this device like intrusive. However, at 10 months of treatment, 78% of patients are still telemonitored. We did not observe a significant difference between telemonitoring patients and nontelemonitoring patients with respect to the mean duration of use of CPAP therapy. However, the risk of stopping CPAP therapy is significantly more important in patients who refused telemonitoring.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION
It seems reductive to consider telemonitoring as a simple tool of surveillance to support adherence. It may be preferable to consider telemonitoring as a follow-up proposal. This will allow for more reactive management and close to the needs of the patients, in particular as telemonitoring is, in general, well accepted by patients.