Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

“Listening for his breath:” The significance of gender and partner reporting on the diagnosis, management, and treatment of obstructive sleep apnea

Contents:

Author Info

  • Henry, Doug
  • Rosenthal, Leon
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    In the elicitation of explanatory models for illnesses, accounts of spouses are strangely absent. This becomes critically missing information for a disorder like sleep apnea, in which a spouse or partner is often the primary agent responsible for the initial diagnosis and push to seek medical care. An apnea patient's understanding of their own illness is critically shaped less by their own direct experience of symptoms, and more by how someone else comes to experience, understand, and interpret them. Men and women, patients and partners, can vary tremendously in their decisions as to if, when, and how to either seek care for themselves, or to influence a partner to seek care. This cross-sectional, exploratory, mixed-methods study from the Dallas metropolitan area, USA, was done in 2006 to illuminate the significance of gender and partner-reporting in shaping the lay diagnosis, management, and treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. Patients clinically diagnosed with sleep apnea were recruited by a physician; a medical anthropologist then arranged in-depth, semi-structured interviews with both patients and partners (n = 24). Communication within relationships, along with social and cultural norms and expectations surrounding “proper” sleep for men and women, played important roles in how apnea was recognized, accepted, and acted upon by patients. More than half of men and women (patients or spouses) mention dissatisfaction with “positive airway pressure” machines, the primary treatment for obstructive apnea; partial compliance with medical advice was high, with dissatisfaction being patterned by gender. The medical anthropology of sleep disorders offers insight into traditional gender roles surrounding expected sleep and “proper” sleep roles. Given the small proportion of adults with apnea that currently see a physician for care, an expanded explanatory model involving spouses or partners promises to reveal new insight into patient behavior surrounding diagnosis, management, and treatment.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953612004492
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 79 (2013)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 48-56

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:79:y:2013:i:c:p:48-56

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description

    Order Information:
    Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional
    Web: http://www.elsevier.com/orderme/journalorderform.cws_home/315/journalorderform1/orderooc/id=654&ref=654_01_ooc_1&version=01

    Related research

    Keywords: Explanatory models; Sleep; Sleep disorders; Gender; Health behavior; Patient care; USA; Spouses;

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:79:y:2013:i:c:p:48-56. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.