Research - Treatment for Apnea and PTSD Study (TAPS) - VA Palo Alto Health Care System
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VA Palo Alto Health Care System


Research - Treatment for Apnea and PTSD Study (TAPS)

Are you a Veteran who has been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea? Do you have PTSD? Have you tried using your CPAP machine before but could not get used to it? Do you want to try and start using it again? Our TAPS Study researchers are studying two different types of treatment to help improve CPAP use for Veterans with obstructive sleep apnea and PTSD.

Eligible participants include:

  • Male and female Veterans 18 years and older
  • Have PTSD
  • Sleep Apnea diagnosis

Study participation includes:

  • Phone screen to determine initial eligibility
  • In-person screening visit
  • Random assignment to one of the two treatment groups, either Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or an Education-Based Treatment
  • Weekly attendance to individual treatment sessions for 4 weeks, then once every three months for a total of 8 sessions over the course of a year


  • Study participants will be reimbursed for their time and can earn up to $340 for completing all sessions. Additionally, a meal will be provided on the first screening and last final visit.

Don’t wait until it is too late! If you think you or someone you know may be suffering from sleep apnea, contact your physician immediately. Seek treatment to avoid longterm or permanent damage. We can help! Call our study staff today at 650-849-0482.

Our VA research lab has been studying the relationship between obstructive sleep apnea and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) since 2004. TAPS is a newly funded, 5-year VA research program which aims to further clarify the relationship between obstructive sleep apnea and PTSD.

Sleep Apnea is the most common chronic illness in the United States.

  • Studies show that 24% of males and 9% of females have sleep apnea, more than 30 million people in the United States.
  • Our research shows that 83% of older Veterans with PTSD have at least mild obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Over 50,000 deaths occur yearly due to sleep apnea related symptoms or injuries.
  • Over half of all people with sleep apnea are 35 years old or older and overweight.
  • 80-90% of affected people are undiagnosed and/or untreated.

What are some common symptoms?

  • Snoring (affects 1 in 2 adults)
  • Stop breathing when you sleep
  • Sleepy throughout the day
  • Large neck circumference
  • Enlarged tongue

What are the risks of untreated Sleep Apnea?

  • High blood pressure and other cardiovascular disease
  • Memory problems
  • Weight gain
  • Diabetes
  • Impotence
  • Headaches
  • Apathy
  • Depression
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Job impairment
  • Motor vehicle crashes