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Study: Pandemic creates new sleep challenges 

Study: Pandemic creates new sleep challenges 

AMSTERDAM – Seventy-two percent of surveyed sleep apnea patients who discontinued CPAP therapy blamed COVID-19, according to a new study from Royal Philips. 

While CPAP therapy is the most commonly prescribed treatment for sleep apnea, the study found a drop in the portion of patients using their CPAP - from 36% in 2020 to 18% in 2021; and an increase in the proportion who have never used the CPAP they were prescribed - from 10% in 2020 to 16% in 2021. 

“With 72% of those who discontinued CPAP therapy citing COVID-10 related reasons, ranging from financial challenges (55%) to limited access of supplies (44%), it would appear that the pandemic has been an inhibiting factor in CPAP therapy compliance,” the company states. “Perhaps most concerning, however, was the 57% of those living with sleep apnea had never been prescribed at all.” 

To conduct the study, “Seeking Solutions: How COVID-19 Changed Sleep Around the World,” Philips surveyed 13,000 adults in 13 countries. 

The study also found that more people are turning to online sources and telehealth for help with sleep challenges. However, while more than half of respondents (58%) said they were willing to seek help for sleep-related concerns in the future from a sleep specialist via telehealth, many have not yet done so. The majority of respondents (70%) said it would be difficult to find a sleep specialist through an online or telephone-based program. 

“This year’s survey results confirm what we’ve known to be true for a while: with the right solutions, care doesn’t have to be defined by a place, but instead by the needs of the individual and his or her condition,” said Dr. Teofilo Lee-Chiong, MD, Chief Medical Liaison, Sleep & Respiratory Care at Philips. “The tools required to deliver telehealth efficiently and reliably already exist, and the interest from consumers is apparent, particularly in the face of COVID-19.”


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