Introduction Telehealth has the potential to offer more convenient care and reduce travel. We aimed to systematically review studies that assessed the effectiveness of teleconsultation plus telemonitoring in the review of people with obstructive sleep apnoea hypopnoea syndrome receiving continuous positive airway pressure therapy versus face-to-face care. Methods Following Cochrane methodology, we searched 10 electronic databases (November 2015), trial registries, and reference lists of included studies, for trials testing interventions that combined remote consultations with telemonitoring of usage/continuous positive airway pressure data. Outcomes measures were: proportion reviewed, continuous positive airway pressure adherence, symptom control, and satisfaction/acceptability and cost effectiveness. Results From 362 potentially relevant papers, we identified five randomised controlled trials ( n = 269 patients): four from North America and one from Spain. Risk of bias was moderate in one, and moderate/high in four trials. Two trials reported number/duration of reviews with inconsistent results. The teleconsultation/telemonitoring improved continuous positive airway pressure adherence in two trials ( n = 19; n = 75); two ( n = 114 and n = 75) reported no between-groups differences. Two studies, both at moderate/high risk of bias, showed no between-group difference in the Epworth Sleepiness Score. Satisfaction was generally reported positively in all five trials; one trial reported that the teleconsultation/telemonitoring patients were 'more likely to continue' with continuous positive airway pressure therapy treatment. One study reported teleconsultation/telemonitoring as cost effective. Discussion The evidence for teleconsultation/telemonitoring in continuous positive airway pressure users is limited; however, no safety concerns have been raised. Adequately powered, well-designed trials are needed to establish whether real-time telemonitoring and remote teleconsultation is a clinically and cost effective option for people using continuous positive airway pressure therapy.
- Journal Article