In a nutshell
This study investigated if self-monitoring of blood pressure (BP) improves BP control in patients with hypertension. They found that self-monitoring results in improved BP levels and BP control at 12 months.
Regularly measuring blood pressure (BP) levels is important to manage hypertension (high blood pressure). To treat hypertension patients will usually attend regular doctor’s visits to monitor BP levels.
Self-monitoring is a BP control approach where a patient records their BP at home. The monitoring device can recommend what dose of medication is needed or if a visit to the doctor is required. It is unclear if self-monitoring is more effective than standard care at managing BP levels.
Methods & findings
This study included results from 37 clinical trials. In these studies, 10487 patients were undergoing standard care (clinic visit and doctor’s intervention), or self-monitoring to measure and control BP. These studies involved several BP self-monitoring intervention protocols. These were ranked by the intensity of the feedback to the patient (from minimal feedback to individually tailored support). BP control was relative to a target BP level of 135/85 mmHg and 140/90 mmHg.
Patients that used self-monitoring to reduce BP had a 30% better BP control at 12 months than those under standard care. Patients that used a self-monitoring protocol with high-intensity interventions had a 43-56% higher BP control at 12 months compared to standard care. Low-intensity interventions did not improve BP control in self-monitoring patients, compared to standard care.
The bottom line
The authors concluded that self-monitoring results in improved BP levels and BP control at 12 months.
The fine print
This study used a short follow-up period. Long-term (greater than 12 months) studies are needed to confirm these results. There may be a significant cost associated with self-monitoring devices and this will need consideration.
If you have any concerns regarding BP management, please consult with your physician.
Published By :
Annals of internal medicine
Feb 20, 2018