Economic evaluation of diagnostic sleep studies for obstructive sleep apnoea: a systematic review protocol

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    Background: Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a significant public health problem affecting a large proportion of the population and is associated with adverse health consequences and a substantial economic burden. Despite the existence of effective treatment, undiagnosed OSA remains a challenge. The gold standard diagnostic tool is polysomnography (PSG), yet the test is expensive, labour intensive and time-consuming. Home-based, limited channel sleep study testing (levels 3 and 4) can advance and widen access to diagnostic services. This systematic review aims to summarise available evidence regarding the cost-effectiveness of limited channel tests compared to laboratory and home PSG in diagnosing OSA. Methods: Eligible studies will be identified using a comprehensive strategy across the following databases from inception onwards: MEDLINE, PsychINFO, SCOPUS, CINAHL, Cochrane Library, Emcare and Web of Science Core Collection and ProQuest databases. The search will include a full economic evaluation (i.e. cost-effectiveness, cost-utility, cost-benefit, cost-consequences and cost-minimisation analysis) that assesses limited channel tests and PSG. Two reviewers will screen, extract data for included studies and critically appraise the articles for bias and quality. Meta-analyses will be conducted if aggregation of outcomes can be performed. Qualitative synthesis using a dominance ranking matrix will be performed for heterogeneous data. Discussion: This systematic review protocol uses a rigorous, reproducible and transparent methodology and eligibility criteria to provide the current evidence relating to the clinical and economic impact of limited channel and full PSG OSA diagnostic tests. Evidence will be examined using standardised tools specific for economic evaluation studies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number104
    Number of pages7
    JournalSystematic Reviews
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 9 Apr 2021


    • Cost-effectiveness
    • Economic evaluation
    • Obstructive sleep apnoea
    • Sleep breathing disorder
    • Systematic review


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