Aims to determine the feasibility, effectiveness and safety of a splint to treat sleep apnoea in people with chronic quadriplegia.
Oral appliances are increasingly being recognised as an alternative to CPAP for the treatment of sleep apnoea. Although CPAP is highly effective, its intrusive nature limits effectiveness. Oral appliances are a simpler treatment because they are quiet, portable, do not require a power source and are generally preferred by people because of their ease of use.
A mandibular advancement splint (MAS) is a small plastic device worn in the mouth (like a mouthguard). The splint works by repositioning and maintaining the lower jaw forward while the person sleeps. This opens the upper airway by tightening the tissues at the back of the throat allowing air to flow freely.
The SHiQ Oral Appliance project will examine the feasibility, effectiveness and safety of a MAS to treat sleep apnoea in people with chronic quadriplegia.
Oral appliances have the potential to address this important therapeutic issue for people with quadriplegia, by providing a therapy that is more acceptable in the long term. The study has the potential to dramatically change the way sleep apnoea is treated in quadriplegia, opening up the possibility of more people being treated by providing a viable alternative to people with quadriplegia who are intolerant of CPAP.