The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Using education + music to treat sleep apnea

    Researchers from the University of Kansas, School of Nursing and Preventive Medicine, in Kansas City tell us, “As many as 50% of patients diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea stop adhering to the prescribed medical treatment of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) within 1 to 3 weeks.”

    They tested the effects of music + patient education on adherence to CPAP.

    First, the details.

    • 97 patients with moderate to severe apnea/hypopnea scores and a diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea were assigned to a treatment group.
      • An audiotape with softly spoken instructions for placing the CPAP mask, using deep breathing and muscle relaxation along with the slowly decreasing music tempo at bedtime each night.
      • Placebo
    • All patients received directions for CPAP nightly use and a diary to record CPAP benefits or problems.

    And, the results.

    • Compared to placebo, significantly more patients in the comprehensive treatment group adhered to CPAP at the end of the first month.
    • There were no differences in CPAP adherence at 3 and 6 months.
    • Diary data indicated the comprehensive intervention was helpful and guided formation of a relaxing, habitual routine of CPAP use.

    The bottom line?
    It’s not surprising that greater attention to patient education resulted in improved adherence to CPAP short term.

    The only other support I can find for music therapy in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea is a study where learning to play the didgeridoo resulted in improved daytime sleepiness and apnea.

    5/17/09 21:00 JR

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