Background: The effectiveness of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is dependent on the degree of use, so adherence is essential. Cognitive components (eg, self-efficacy) and support during treatment have been found to be important in CPAP use. Video consultation may be useful to support patients during treatment. So far, video consultation has rarely been evaluated in thorough controlled research, with only a limited number of outcomes assessed. Objective: The aim of the study was to evaluate the superiority of video consultation over face-to-face consultation for patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) on CPAP use (minutes per night), adherence, self-efficacy, risk outcomes, outcome expectancies, expectations and experiences with video consultation, and satisfaction of patients and nurses. Methods: A randomized controlled trial was conducted with an intervention (video consultation) and a usual care group (face-to-face consultation). Patients with confirmed OSA (apnea-hypopnea index >15), requiring CPAP treatment, no history of CPAP treatment, having access to a tablet or smartphone, and proficient in the Dutch language were recruited from a large teaching hospital. CPAP use was monitored remotely, with short-term (weeks 1 to 4) and long-term (week 4, week 12, and week 24) assessments. Questionnaires were completed at baseline and after 4 weeks on self-efficacy, risk perception, outcome expectancies (Self-Efficacy Measure for Sleep Apnea), expectations and experiences with video consultation (covering constructs of the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology), and satisfaction. Nurse satisfaction was evaluated using questionnaires. Results: A total of 140 patients were randomized (1:1 allocation). The use of video consultation for OSA patients does not lead to superior results on CPAP use and adherence compared with face-to-face consultation. A significant difference in change over time was found between groups for short-term (P-interaction=.008) but not long-term (P-interaction=.68) CPAP use. CPAP use decreased in the long term (P=.008), but no significant difference was found between groups (P=.09). Change over time for adherence was not significantly different in the short term (P-interaction=.17) or long term (P-interaction=.51). A relation was found between CPAP use and self-efficacy (P=.001), regardless of the intervention arm (P=.25). No significant difference between groups was found for outcome expectancies (P=.64), self-efficacy (P=.41), and risk perception (P=.30). The experiences were positive, and 95% (60/63) intended to keep using video consultation. Patients in both groups rated the consultations on average with an 8.4. Overall, nurses (n=3) were satisfied with the video consultation system. Conclusions: Support of OSA patients with video consultation does not lead to superior results on CPAP use and adherence compared with face-to-face consultation. The findings of this research suggest that self-efficacy is an important factor in improving CPAP use and that video consultation may be a feasible way to support patients starting CPAP. Future research should focus on blended care approaches in which self-efficacy receives greater emphasis.
- Continuous positive airway pressure
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Randomized controlled trial
- Video consultation