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Title: Comprehensive management of obstructive sleep apnea by telemedicine: clinical improvement and cost-effectiveness of a virtual sleep unit. A randomized controlled trial
Authors: Lugo, Vera M.
Garmendia, Onintza
Suarez-Girón, Monique
Torres, Marta
Vázquez Polo, Francisco José 
Negrín Hernández, Miguel Ángel 
Moraleda, Anabel
Roman, Mariana
Puig, Marta
Ruiz, Concepcion
Egea, Carlos
Masa, Juan F.
Farré, Ramon
Montserrat, Josep M.
UNESCO Clasification: 530202 Modelos econométricos
Keywords: Apnea
Unidad del sueño
Métodos estadísticos
Issue Date: 2019
Project: PI14/00416
Catalan Society of Pneumology (SOCAP)
Journal: PLoS ONE 
Abstract: Introduction Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a prevalent disease associated with significant morbidity and high healthcare costs. Information and communication technology could offer cost-effective management options. Objectives To evaluate an out-of-hospital Virtual Sleep Unit (VSU) based on telemedicine to manage all patients with suspected OSA, including those with and without continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. Methods This was an open randomized controlled trial. Patients with suspected OSA were randomized to hospital routine (HR) or VSU groups to compare the clinical improvement and cost-effectiveness in a non-inferiority analysis. Improvement was assessed by changes in the Quebec Sleep Questionnaire (QSQ), EuroQol (EQ-5D and EQ-VAS), and Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS). The follow-up was 3 months. Cost-effectiveness was assessed by a Bayesian analysis based on quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs). Results The HR group (n: 92; 78% OSA, 57% CPAP) compared with the VSU group (n: 94; 83% OSA, 43% CPAP) showed: CPAP compliance was similar in both groups, the QSQ social interactions domain improved significantly more in the HR group whereas the EQ-VAS improved more in the VSU group. Total and OSA-related costs were lower in the VSU group than the HR. The Bayesian cost-effectiveness analysis showed that VSU was cost-effective for a wide range of willingness to pay for QALYs. Conclusions The VSU offered a cost-effective means of improving QALYs than HR. However, the assessment of its clinical improvement was influenced by the choice of the questionnaire; hence, additional measurements of clinical improvement are needed. Our findings indicate that VSU could help with the management of many patients, irrespective of CPAP use.
ISSN: 1932-6203
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0224069
Source: PLoS ONE [ISSN 1932-6203], v. 14 (10), e0224069
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