Population, intervention, control and outcomes framework for inclusion and exclusion criteria

PopulationAdults with a clinical diagnosis of OSAHS, either naïve or established users of CPAP; recruited from any healthcare or community setting. Studies were excluded if they investigated patients with other types of sleep disorders such as central sleep apnoea.
InterventionAny form of a virtual consultation between a patient and a healthcare provider. This included either synchronous or asynchronous communications made via telephone or videoconferencing, with or without real-time telemonitoring of CPAP. No limitations were imposed regarding the number of consultations, methods of CPAP initiation or the duration of consultations. Trials that investigated automated interventions, without direct input from a healthcare professional, were excluded.
ComparatorThe comparator group were allocated to a clinical in-person consultation, with or without real-time telemonitoring of CPAP therapy.
OutcomesThe primary clinical outcome was subjective sleepiness, assessed by the Epworth Sleepiness Scale and the primary organisational outcome was cost-effectiveness of the intervention.
Additional outcomes were clinical, patient and/or clinician-reported, and environmental impact outcomes (see supplementary material, section 2, for definitions).
Study designStudies were included if they were randomised controlled trials, quasi-randomised controlled trials or controlled clinical trials.

CPAP: continuous positive airway pressure; OSAHS: obstructive sleep apnoea/hypopnoea syndrome.