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Volume 14 No. 07
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Accepted Papers

Scientific Investigations

Accuracy of Patient Perception of Supine Sleep

Peter D. Wallbridge, MBBS1,2; Thomas J. Churchward, RPSGT1,2; Christopher J. Worsnop, MBBS, PhD1,2
1Department of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine, Austin Hospital, Heidelberg, Australia; 2Institute for Breathing and Sleep, Heidelberg, Australia

Study Objectives:

For clinicians involved in investigating and treating sleep disorders, understanding the accuracy of patient recall of supine sleep would allow informed comparisons between polysomnography (PSG) and patient-reported sleep in patients with supine-predominant obstructive sleep apnea. This study aims to assess the accuracy of patient perception of supine sleep.


Prospective observational cohort study, assessing patient perception of total sleep and supine sleep, including duration. Data were analyzed utilizing descriptive statistics, bias-plot (Bland-Altman) analysis, and Spearman correlation (rs) to analyze relationships among continuous data.


Total number of patients who underwent PSG was 518, with data from 368 of these patients analyzed. Most of these patients underwent diagnostic PSG (49.2%). Patients were excluded because of missing or incomplete data (n = 133) or immobility (n = 17). Some patients (n = 97, 26%) did not perceive supine sleep, with 34 (35% of those with unperceived supine sleep or 9% of whole group) of these having more than 60 minutes of PSG supine sleep (range 0–305.5 minutes). All “unsure” patients (n = 8, 2.2%) had significant supine sleep recorded (31.5–257.5 minutes). For the presence of any PSG supine sleep, questioning had a sensitivity of 77.9%, specificity 72.7% with positive predictive value of 96.7% and negative predictive value of 24.5%. There was a significant correlation (rs = 0.63, P < .0001) between perceived and PSG supine sleep, but wide limits of agreement (−246.9 to 194.2 minutes).


In patients undergoing in-laboratory PSG, the perception of supine sleep predicts the presence of PSG supine sleep. However, questioning patients has a poor negative predictive value and patient estimates of supine sleep duration are inaccurate.


Wallbridge PD, Churchward TJ, Worsnop CJ. Accuracy of patient perception of supine sleep. J Clin Sleep Med. 2018;14(7):1205–1208.

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