Obstructive Sleep Apnea CPAP get smart fast

Disclaimer: These peer coaching articles describe what some savvy, successful CPAP users have done to make their treatment successful. Not written by healthcare professionals. The information and opinions may not necessarily be correct or helpful for you and your unique needs. Rely on sound, well informed medical advice from your doctors and other healthcare professionals well versed in treatment of obstructive sleep apnea.

Location: United States

IF I ONLY KNEW THEN WHAT I KNOW NOW! Blog Purpose: To help you with your CPAP therapy for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). For those with OSA, family, friends, physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, sleep technicians. Why This Came to Be: I didn’t have the information I needed for successful CPAP treatment when I needed it. A kind sleep lab technician with OSA told me about a web site he had heard about from another patient, www.cpaptalk.com. The rest is history. It took me months of reading hundreds of posts to gather the information I needed while suffering through equipment struggles. Not everyone has that time or wants to struggle needlessly. I wrote up my own experience and advice from the collective wisdom of experienced CPAP users on cpaptalk.com. Thanks to them, my treatment is working. I’m not sure I could have done it without them. The online CPAP equipment store www.cpap.com created cpaptalk.com. I appreciate what they are giving back to the CPAP community through their website forum, as well as their fair prices. NOBODY IS AS SMART AS EVERYBODY! To email me, send a private message to Mile High Sleeper at www.cpaptalk.com.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

AWAKE Group Workshop Design for CPAP Peer Coaching

Peer coaching article #26

Designed by Mile High Sleeper, MHRD (Master in Human Resource Development, Adult Experiential Learning)

Permission is granted to use this meeting design for nonprofit sleep apnea education.

Participants: people with sleep apnea on CPAP therapy, their family/friends, healthcare professionals

Required length: 2 hours

Title: Tips for New and Veteran CPAP Users or
Peer Coaching Resources to Get Smart Fast or–
If I Only Knew Then What I Know Now

Meeting objectives:

Patient/family/friend participation in a non-threatening manner
Information exchange about CPAP therapy for obstructive sleep apnea

Meeting considerations:

Will work with a small or larger group by changing the number of topics.
The sponsoring organization (sleep lab) can select topics in advance, if desired.
Requires photocopying of some of the sleep apnea articles from the blog smart-sleep-apnea dot blogspot dot com
Optional: Would be helpful to have a flipchart or white board and markers.
Requires handouts, a pen and piece of paper for each small group.
Name tags and a timer are helpful.

Meeting design

10 MINUTES. START. 7:00 TO 7:10 pm
Introduction of the meeting leader and meeting topic, and sample leader dialog.

A peer-coaching meeting. We will share useful information with each other, based on the experience of other knowledgeable CPAP users and our own experience.

Why these articles were written. Half the people on CPAP therapy fail. It’s not an easy therapy, especially at the start. Failure can lead to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, depression, glaucoma, poor quality of life. Not a case of If, but of When. One of the reasons for failure is poor quality of information about the therapy. There is an enormous variation in competence of Respiratory Therapists at Durable Medical Equipment/home care organizations and in doctors’ knowledge of the details of sleep therapy. Many people are given bad information and advice and ill suited equipment. Part of the problem is that an RT may take their experience with some people and present that as fact for all people. But CPAP therapy doesn’t have one right answer, one right machine, one right mask for all people. It’s very individual. No one size fits all. Research, experiment. Try various products and make your own decisions.

Result: I (the meeting leader) have sleep apnea and needed information and support and didn’t know where to find it when I first started CPAP treatment.
HOW MANY HERE HAD A SIMILAR EXPERIENCE? (ask for a show of hands)

Help from others with sleep apnea. cpaptalk.com is an online forum of very knowledgeable apnea sufferers with many years experience. Articles can be found at smart-sleep-apnea.blogspot.com Don’t discount CPAP users, including yourself and the people in this room, because they aren’t healthcare professionals. Because of their experience, they often know more than the professionals about the finer details of CPAP equipment and therapy. But be discriminating, make your own decisions, and partner with your doctor. Use the expertise of hospital sleep techs and AWAKE meetings and knowledgeable respiratory technicians.

Attitudes. Old school: People on CPAP were treated like dependent, helpless, ignorant children. A newer attitude is that they are informed, empowered individuals managing their own therapy in conjunction with their doctor. A nursing student says “my text books say the following”:"Now, client education has moved beyond the telling the client what to do. Instead, clients and their families are at the head of the health care team, working collaboratively with healthcare professionals to learn and to assist in achieving their own healthcare goals." (Craven, 398)
Fundamentals of Nursing; human health and function / edited by Ruth F Craven, Constance J Hirnle; 49 contributors. ---5th ed. Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
This attitude is what we’re aiming for in this meeting.
Don’t get too comfortable, because we will be changing seats in a few minutes.

10 MINUTES. 7:10 TO 7:20
Meeting purpose
: to provide information to help you with your CPAP therapy for obstructive sleep apnea.

Brief Introductions of all present by show of hands for each question.
Who is on CPAP?
Who is a family member/friend?
Who is a Respiratory Therapist / sleep tech/ nurse/ or other?

How long have you been on CPAP or supporting someone on CPAP?
3 months or less
6 months or less
Up to 1 year
Up to 2 years or more

A. Icebreaker, Prouds and Sorries. What are your Prouds, what are you proud of in your therapy, what’s working well? (In a large group, get several responses. In a small group, get responses from everyone. Keep it fast.)
B. What are your Sorries or Worries, what isn’t working so well in your therapy? Pay attention to the sorries for the next part.

Listen to these article topics and select the one you would like to work on. (Announce only those articles that will be used.)

Main articles from www.smart-sleep-apnea.blogspot.com , 6 copies each, depending on group size:
CPAP Machines
CPAP Pressures
CPAP Masks
Solving Common Equipment Problems + Cleaning Equipment

Supplementary articles, 2 to 6 copies each, depending on group size:
Are You Sleeping with the Enemy?
7 Stages/What Is Feeling Good? + OSA Recovery-Specific Conditions
Recovery and CPAP Adaptation Stages
Building Your Team + Tips for Newcomers
Humidification + Safety/Incidents

Form ___ groups of _2 to 6__ people. Respiratory Therapists, sleep techs, and nurses can each pick a different group. Each group gets one article. The article on ___ will be in this corner, the article on ___ will be here, etc. Stand up, pick your article, and go to that part of the room.

30 MINUTES TO SILENTLY READ, DISCUSS, SELECT NUGGETS AND ISSUES. 7:20 TO 7:50 plus short individual break if needed

First read your article. No discussion yet. After reading, select a scribe or note-taker. (Give each scribe scratch paper and pen.)

A. Nuggets of information. What are 3 things from the article that you would like the whole group to know? (3 most important things, or 3 things that are hard to find out but shouldn’t be). Consider the Sorries or Worries we mentioned earlier. (Recorded by the scribe on scratch paper.)

B. Issues. What are 3 things you have a different opinion about, or what are questions that you have? (Recorded by the scribe.)

C. What else?
D. Select a presenter.


A presenter from each group presents Nuggets and Issues to the whole group.

6. Whole group discusses each topic or questions and answers, relying on the RTs and all others present, as each group presents. The leader can make summary comments after each group, but be sure to not dominate the topic or take too much air time.

After all the groups present: Who doesn’t have access to the Internet? Please give them your copy of the article. Perhaps you can use the computer and printer at a library.

10 MINUTES (8:50 to 9:00)
Close by “temperature taking”. Pick one word to tell how this meeting went, go around the room. Leader starts.

Thank participants.

-end of meeting-

Tips for New and Veteran CPAP Users or
Peer Coaching Resources to Get Smart Fast or
If I Only Knew Then What I Know Now

Find all the articles at http://
Smart-sleep-apnea.blogspot.com, Finding All the Articles in This Blog
3 to 5 Nuggets. Useful things for the whole group to know.
3 to 5 Issues . Questions or alternate experiences/opinions

Facilitator notes. Important factors:
Article selection. It’s important to let participants select which group/article they want to join. Encourage them to get up, on their feet, and go to the article they are most interested in. Groups should be at least 2 people but not more than 6 people. It’s difficult to get good small group participation in groups larger than 6.

Time management. Give the small groups enough time to read and discuss the article (20 to 30 minutes for longer articles) AND enough time to report their findings to the whole group (10 minutes per group). Expect the average group to need considerable time to read the whole article if it’s long. If the group is taking too much time, tell them it’s okay to not read the whole article. Don’t call on individuals to read out loud, in order to avoid embarrassing poor readers. If groups don’t have a complete list of Nuggets and Issues, or a presenter who doesn’t have much to say, it may take them only 5 minutes to present to the whole group, instead of 10 minutes, provided there aren’t many questions and answers on that topic.

Keep the groups on task. Monitor the small groups and remind them of the tasks. Did they select a scribe? Are they coming up with 3 Nuggets and 3 Issues? Did they select a presenter? After they complete their Nuggets/Issue list, then they can continue with their general discussion and information sharing. The quality of sharing and information exchange in the small group is actually more important than task accomplishment.

Participation. In an average group, there may be good discussion in the small group, where people are more confident about speaking, but less discussion in the larger group if they still feel more like strangers. Be a “gate keeper.” Keep certain individuals from taking too much air time and draw out some of the quieter individuals. Call upon the healthcare professionals or those who have expertise.

Meeting adaptations.
For a smaller group, use fewer articles, perhaps only one.
For a shorter meeting (1 hour), use only one or two articles. Skip the icebreaker (Prouds and Sorries). Spend half an hour or more reading and discussing the article and 5 to 10 minutes per group sharing their findings with the larger group.

-end of leader notes-