Long-term adherence to home mechanical ventilation: A 10-year retrospective, single-centre cohort study

Omar Masoud, Michelle Ramsay, Eui Sik Suh, Georgios Kaltsakas, Shelley Srivastava, Hina Pattani, Philip Marino, Patrick B. Murphy, Nicholas Hart, Joerg Steier*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Sleep-disordered breathing (SBD) can be associated with hypercapnic respiratory failure (HRF). Home Mechanical Ventilation (HMV) is the preferred long-term treatment for patients with chronic HRF. We reviewed the database of a large tertiary referral centre for HMV to study the long-term adherence to HMV in chronic hypercapnic patients. Methods: Data on adherence and characteristics of patients who received HMV for the treatment of SDB were collected over a decade using electronic patient records. The primary outcome parameter in this study was annual non-adherence rate (patients with HMV usage of <4 hours/night in the service divided by the number of all new patients of the same year), secondary outcomes were patients’ characteristics and reasons for low adherence. HMV adherence clinics were established to improve uptake. Results: Two thousand and two hundred twenty-eight patients with HRF were under active follow-up on HMV at the end of the recording period. In contrast, a total of 1,900 patients had their HMV contracts terminated over the course of a decade (due to non-adherence, transfer to other services or death). Out of those, 222 patients {62 [52–72] years, body-mass index, BMI 40 [35–43] kg/m2, 58.1% male, Epworth Sleepiness Scale, ESS 9 [4–15] points, 4% oxygen desaturation index, 4%ODI 32 [20–71] × hour−1, TcCO2 6.6 [6.0–7.2] kPa} met the non-adherence criteria (nocturnal usage 0–4 hours). The annual non-adherence rate was 25.5% of all new setups in 2010, and declined to 3.4% in 2019 (relative reduction of 86%, P<0.001). Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea/Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome (58.2%), Neuromuscular Diseases (NMD) (26.8%) and COPD (13.6%) accounted for most cases of this non-adherent cohort. The vast majority of the patients (96.1%) were established on full-face masks. In 23.4% of patients, substantial weight loss (>10%) was the most common reason for low adherence; general displeasure (21.3%), uncontrolled symptoms (12.8%), claustrophobia (6.7%), mood (4.8%) and mask intolerance (4.3%) caused problems as well. Conclusions: Non-adherence to HMV in patients with chronic HRF can affect significant proportions of patients. However, the non-adherent rate substantially decreases when individual treatment solutions are offered in multi-disciplinary clinics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S120-S128
JournalJournal of Thoracic Disease
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Hypercapnic respiratory failure
  • Neuromuscular disease
  • Non-invasive ventilation
  • Obesity hypoventilation syndrome


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