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Self-management of postnatal anti-hypertensive treatment trial development pilot study

This was a pilot study set up in order to inform the planning of a large-scale multi-centre randomised controlled trial to address the management of blood pressure (BP) postpartum.


Gestational hypertension, affects between 6 and 15% of pregnancies. A recent population-based retrospective study in the USA found the rate of pre-eclampsia to be 3.4%. In England in 2008 there were 665,800 pregnancies, and NICE estimates that 89,900 of these were affected by gestational hypertension. To date research in self-monitoring and self-management of hypertension in non-pregnant patients has shown that it is feasible, acceptable to patients and produces better BP control when compared with conventional monitoring in a clinic setting. BP control in the postpartum period can be challenging due to other pressures on women and healthcare professionals, and as a result of the need to wean medication appropriately in response to changing BP over a relatively short time-frame. If self-monitoring in the postpartum period proves to be a feasible, acceptable and a successful strategy for management of BP, it could lead to a reduction in the length of inpatient stay, readmissions and the number of postpartum visits, with cost-saving implications for both primary and secondary care.

The results of this study have been utilised in the planning of a large scale randomised controlled trial to investigate self-management of BP in the postpartum period.  

> Read the paper


Study design: Non-blinded, randomised, controlled trial-development pilot study
Sponsor: University of Oxford  
Chief Investigator: Alexandra Cairns, University of Oxford
Ethical Approval: Ethics Ref: 14/SC/1316
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