Study objectives: Previous studies have found that patients’ neurocognitive functions were affected by OSA
symptoms. However, no study has focused on the subjective awareness of cognitive impairments. Thisstudy used a subjective rating scale to evaluate OSA patient perceptions of their cognitive impairments, and explore the relationship between subjective and objective cognitive functions.
Methods: An independent-group design was used to compare objective and subjective cognitive performance in both the
OSA and control groups. An experimental group of 19 male OSA patients and a control group of 19 normal subjects
matched in age and education participated in the study. A neurocognitive test battery that measures attention, memory and
executive functions, and the SCIRS (Subjective Cognitive Impairment Rating Scale) that measures subjective perception
of cognitive impairments were used.
Results: On the neurocognitive test measures, OSA patients demonstrated decreased performance on memory and executive function. On the subjective measures, OSA patients reported a mild to moderately negative impact on attention,
memory, and emotional control due to OSA.
Conclusions: The results show that OSA patients may not be fully aware of their cognitive impairments, especially with
regard to their executive functions. The inconsistency suggests that including neurocognitive tests in the evaluation of
sleep-related breathing disorders may provide useful information that cannot be obtained through clinical interviews.