Economic evaluation of diagnostic sleep studies for obstructive sleep apnoea in the adult population: a systematic review

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Evidence regarding the cost-effectiveness of limited channel tests compared to laboratory and home polysomnography (PSG) in diagnosing obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is unclear. Eligible studies were systematically sought across the following databases: MEDLINE, PsychINFO, SCOPUS, CINAHL, Cochrane, Emcare, Web of Science and ProQuest. Title and abstracts were screened before full-text review. Only full and partial economic evaluations reporting at least one economic outcome were included. A standardised template was used for critical appraisal and data extraction. Relevant findings were summarised using a qualitative approach adhering to economic reporting standards. Literature searches identified 999 non-duplicate abstracts, where 85 studies were retrieved for full-text review. The number of studies that met eligibility criteria and were included in the final analyses was 35, of which 31 investigated Level 3 and four assessed Level 4 tests. Based on the dominance ranking framework, both Level 3 and Level 4 tests were cost-effective compared to PSG. Although study designs and methodologies differ broadly, the findings indicated that using limited channel diagnostic sleep tests for OSA is associated with lower costs and non-inferior health outcomes relative to PSG. Limited channel tests also resulted in shorter waiting times and improved access to diagnostic services for patients with OSA. Prospero registration number: CRD42020150130.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101608
Number of pages11
JournalSleep Medicine Reviews
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


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


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