Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Business


Continuing Education

First Advisor

Dr Angel Wright


The prevalence of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is increasing. As the prevalence of OSA increases, as does the need for the condition to be treated effectively to reduce several risk factors which increase both mortality and morbidity rates. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy is easily recognised as the most effective treatment for OSA. Despite the recognised benefits of CPAP therapy, adherence rates reported worldwide remain suboptimal. A transitional change within the Irish healthcare system means that private medical device companies will provide CPAP devices in specific contractual regions throughout Ireland. This change presents challenges and opportunities for policymakers. This research aims to highlight any challenges or opportunities that must be considered by relevant policymakers before awarding any contractual tenders within the Irish marketplace. This research was conducted to investigate the impact of nursing support and the financial implications associated with CPAP adherence in Cork, Ireland. A concurrent mixed-method triangulation approach was applied to answer the research question. Three individual pieces of data were collected. These individual pieces include a quantitative internal desk research, followed by quantitative CPAP data collection and analysis, and concluding with 9 face to face semi-structured interviews. The internal desk research was conducted so that a triangulation approach could be applied to the study. The desk research included 100 patients split evenly into a private patient group and a public patient group. The data was presented in a quantitative format using Microsoft Excel. The quantitative data was collected from the 9 participants CPAP devices and analysed using Microsoft Excel. The qualitative interviews were conducted concurrently to the quantitative research. The quantitative strand provides the researcher with objective data relating to CPAP therapy and adherence rates in public and private patient groups. In comparison, the qualitative data produced subjective data, including insightful patient opinions, experiences, and behaviours relating to CPAP therapy and adherence rates in public and private patient groups. One of the concepts that emerged from the research findings is that OSA is more prevalent in males. The desk research identified that 70% of participants were male. This finding was further supported by the quantitative research, which revealed that 78% of participants were male. Another key theme that emerged is that 78% of interviewees reported that CPAP therapy is effective at reducing the subjective symptoms associated with OSA. Interestingly, only one interviewee claimed to have no significant reduction or elimination of subjective symptoms. Furthermore, this interviewee was the only participant who did not adhere to therapy for the minimum amount of required hours. Surprisingly, 78% of interviewees described the prescribed CPAP pressure as good, and the empirical research reveals that air pressure was not associated with poor adherence to CPAP therapy. This research will be of interest to relevant policymakers within the private medical device industry and the Irish healthcare system as it provides a unique insight into CPAP adherence rates in Cork, Ireland. The study can act as a guide for future research in a national context.

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