SEEK: Salford Environment for Expertise and Knowledge

Journal Article (Refereed)
January 2004

The effects of position on oxygen saturation in acute stroke: a systematic review

Tyson, S & Nightingale, P 2004, 'The effects of position on oxygen saturation in acute stroke: a systematic review ', Clin Rehabilitation .


Objective: To investigate the effect of body position on oxygen saturation in the acute stages post-stroke. Design: Systematic review Methods. Databases: Premedline and Medline, Psychinfo, Embase, CINAHL, PEDro, all EBM Reviews and Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN). Keywords: combinations of cerebrovascular accident / stroke / hemiplegia / cerbrovascular disorders and position or posture or sitting or standing / lying / supine /side lying, with oxygen saturation /oxygen levels /blood gas analysis/ hypoxia /sleep apnea syndrome /obstructive sleep disorder/ Cheyne Stokes breathing. Limits: English language, human, adults and clinical trials. The quality of relevant papers was independently reviewed using criteria based on the SIGN guidelines for randomised controlled trials and methods described by Rywdik et al. Results. There were four relevant studies involving 183 patients: three high quality and one poor quality. Heterogeneity in the testing positions, selection criteria, outcome measures and analysis methods prevented meta-analysis. There was strong evidence that body position did not effect oxygen saturation in acute stroke patients without relevant (respiratory) co-morbidities. There was limited evidence that sitting in a chair had a beneficial effect and lying positions had a deleterious effect on oxygen saturation in acute stroke patients with respiratory co-morbidities. Conclusions: Acute stroke patients without respiratory co-morbidities can adopt any body position, people with respiratory co-morbidities should be positioned as upright as possible.




SEEK Members

External Authors

Nightingale, P

Publication Details

Journal Name
Clin Rehabilitation

Vol 18, Iss 8