Sleepless nights and sleepy days: a qualitative study exploring the experiences of patients with chronic heart failure and newly verified sleep-disordered breathing
Marianne Gullvåg, Kari Hanne Gjeilo, Nina Fålun, Tone M. Norekvål, Rune Mo, Anders Brostom
Studien er publisert i Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
Background: Sleep-disordered breathing, including obstructive sleep apnoea and central sleep apnoea, is a common disorder among patients with chronic heart failure. Obstructive sleep apnoea is often treated with continuous positive airway pressure, but central sleep apnoea lacks a clear treatment option. Knowledge of how sleep-disordered breathing is experienced (e.g. difficulties and care needs) and handled (e.g. self-care actions) by the patients is limited, but needed, to provide patient-centred care.
Aim: To explore how newly verified sleep-disordered breathing is experienced by patients with chronic heart failure.
Methods: Data were collected through semi-structured interviews and analysed with qualitative content analysis. Seventeen participants (14 men, three women), mean age 60 years (range 41-80) diagnosed with chronic heart failure and objectively verified sleep-disordered breathing (nine obstructive, seven central and one mixed) were strategically selected from heart failure outpatient clinics at two Norwegian university hospitals.
Results: Patients with chronic heart failure and newly verified sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) described experiences of poor sleep that had consequences for their daily life and their partners. Different self-care strategies were revealed, but they were based on 'common sense' and were not evidence-based. The awareness of having SDB was varied; for some, it gave an explanation to their trouble while others were surprised by the finding.
Conclusions: Patients with chronic heart failure and sleep-disordered breathing experienced reduced sleep quality, influencing their daily life. Possible underlying causes of disrupted sleep, such as sleep-disordered breathing, should be identified to establish proper patient-centred treatment strategies. There is a need for new strategies to approach patients with chronic heart failure (i.e. those with central sleep apnoea) who are not subject to continuous positive airway pressure treatment for their sleep-disordered breathing.