J Rhinol.  2017 Nov;24(2):94-103. 10.18787/jr.2017.24.2.94.

Effect of Positional therapy on Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Meta-Analysis

  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Bucheon Hospital, Bucheon, Korea. handsomemd@hanmail.net
  • 2Department of Biostatistics, Clinical Trial Center, Soonchunhyang Medical Center, Bucheon, Korea.


Positional therapy is a therapeutic method for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). However, little is known about the effectiveness of positional OSA treatment based on meta-analysis. Therefore, we undertook a review and meta-analysis of studies to assess the effect of positional therapy on OSA. SUBJECTS AND METHOD: We searched PubMed (Medline), OVID Medline, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, SCOPUS, KoreaMed, MedRIC, and KSI KISS using the key words "obstructive sleep apnea" and "positional therapy". To estimate the effect of positional OSA therapy, we analyzed the ratio of means (ROM) for pre- and post-treatment polysomnographic data including apnea-hypopnea index (AHI), lowest oxygen saturation, arousal index, and sleep efficiency.
Finally, twenty two studies from 21 papers were included in the meta-analysis. Positional therapy significantly decreased AHI by 54.1% [ROM, 0.459; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.394 to 0.534] and increased lowest oxygen saturation by 3.3% (ROM, 1.033; 95% CI, 1.020 to 1.046). However, positional therapy did not significantly change arousal index (ROM, 0.846; 95% CI, 0.662 to 1.081) or sleep efficiency (ROM, 1.008; 95% CI, 0.990 to 1.027).
Positional therapy significantly improves respiratory parameters including AHI and lowest oxygen saturation in patients with OSA.


Obstructive sleep apnea; Positional therapy; Polysomnography; Apnea-hypopnea index; Lowest oxygen saturation
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