Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2015 Dec 14;10(12):e0143697. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0143697. eCollection 2015.

Validation of the STOP-Bang Questionnaire as a Screening Tool for Obstructive Sleep Apnea among Different Populations: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Author information

Department of Anesthesiology, Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Metro Health Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, United States of America.
Department of Anesthesiology, University of Michigan Health System, East Medical Center Drive, Michigan, United States of America.
Department of Anesthesiology, Hospital for Special Surgery, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, United States of America.
Department of Medicine, Sleep Disorders Center and the Section of Pulmonary and Critical Care, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States of America.



Diagnosing obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is clinically relevant because untreated OSA has been associated with increased morbidity and mortality. The STOP-Bang questionnaire is a validated screening tool for OSA. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to determine the effectiveness of STOP-Bang for screening patients suspected of having OSA and to predict its accuracy in determining the severity of OSA in the different populations.


A search of the literature databases was performed. Inclusion criteria were: 1) Studies that used STOP-Bang questionnaire as a screening tool for OSA in adult subjects (>18 years); 2) The accuracy of the STOP-Bang questionnaire was validated by polysomnography--the gold standard for diagnosing OSA; 3) OSA was clearly defined as apnea/hypopnea index (AHI) or respiratory disturbance index (RDI) ≥ 5; 4) Publications in the English language. The quality of the studies were explicitly described and coded according to the Cochrane Methods group on the screening and diagnostic tests.


Seventeen studies including 9,206 patients met criteria for the systematic review. In the sleep clinic population, the sensitivity was 90%, 94% and 96% to detect any OSA (AHI ≥ 5), moderate-to-severe OSA (AHI ≥15), and severe OSA (AHI ≥30) respectively. The corresponding NPV was 46%, 75% and 90%. A similar trend was found in the surgical population. In the sleep clinic population, the probability of severe OSA with a STOP-Bang score of 3 was 25%. With a stepwise increase of the STOP-Bang score to 4, 5, 6 and 7/8, the probability rose proportionally to 35%, 45%, 55% and 75%, respectively. In the surgical population, the probability of severe OSA with a STOP-Bang score of 3 was 15%. With a stepwise increase of the STOP-Bang score to 4, 5, 6 and 7/8, the probability increased to 25%, 35%, 45% and 65%, respectively.


This meta-analysis confirms the high performance of the STOP-Bang questionnaire in the sleep clinic and surgical population for screening of OSA. The higher the STOP-Bang score, the greater is the probability of moderate-to-severe OSA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center