Nathaniel Marshall

Doctor of Philosophy, (Public Health)
Study Completed: 2006
College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Citation

Thesis Title
Positive Airway Pressure for Obstructive Sleep Apnoea: Systematic Evaluation Versus Clinical and Technological Drift.

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Dr Marshall’s thesis tested the effectiveness of a standard treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) where breathing stops many times throughout sleep. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), which is a mask and air pump device worn when trying to sleep, is the standard treatment for OSA, but many patients find it difficult to tolerate. Two studies were conducted involving patients with mild-moderate disease, for whom CPAP has been recommended, but not adequately tested. A key symptom of OSA, daytime sleepiness, was not improved enough by CPAP to make the treatment worthwhile in all patients, although it did reduce their breathing pauses at night. A third study tested a new device (C-Flex), which aims to improve comfort by lowering the air pressure during exhalation in patients with severe disease. Although findings were promising, larger scale testing will be required before this more expensive treatment can be recommended over conventional CPAP.

Supervisors
Professor Philippa Gander

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