Virtual consultations for patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea: systematic review and meta-analysis

Sulaiman S. Alsaif, Julia L Kelly, Stuart Little, Hilary Pinnock, Mary J Morrell, Michael I Polkey, Phyllis Murphie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of virtual care strategies for the management of patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea/Hypopnoea Syndrome.

Research question: What is the effectiveness of virtual consultations compared to in-person consultations for the management of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure therapy in adult patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea/Hypopnoea Syndrome?

Methods: A systematic review and meta-analysis (PROSPERO; CRD42022297532) based on six electronic databases plus manually selected journals was conducted in January 2022. Two researchers independently selected, quality appraised, and extracted data. The co-primary outcomes were patient-reported sleepiness, assessed by the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, and reported cost-effectiveness.

Findings: 12 studies (n=1823 adults) were included in the review. Seven studies (n=1089) were included in the meta-analysis which showed no difference in the magnitude of improvement in patient-reported sleepiness scores between virtual and in-person consultations (MD [95%CI], -0.39 [-1.38 to 0.60]; p=0.4), though Epworth Sleepiness Scale scores improved in both groups. Virtual care strategies modestly increased Continuous Positive Airway Pressure therapy adherence and were found to be less costly than in-person care strategies in the three Spanish trials that reported cost-effectiveness.

Conclusion: The findings of this review suggest that virtual care delivered by telephone or video consultations is as effective as in-person consultations for improving subjective sleepiness in patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea/Hypopnoea Syndrome treated with Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. This clinical management strategy may also improve Continuous Positive Airway Pressure adherence without increasing the costs, supporting its potential as a follow-up management strategy, where patients prefer this approach.
Original languageEnglish
Article number220180
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Respiratory Review
Volume31
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2022

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