OBJECTIVE: To understand the current prevalence of, and attitudes to, self-monitoring of blood pressure (BP) during pregnancy. METHODS: Five thousand, five hundred and fifty-five pregnant women from antenatal clinics in 16 hospitals in England were invited to complete a survey. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome was the proportion of women currently BP self-monitoring. Secondary outcomes included self-monitoring schedules and women's interactions with clinicians regarding self-monitoring. Population characteristics including risk factors for preeclampsia, ethnicity and deprivation level were considered. RESULTS: Completed surveys were received and analysed from 5181 pregnant women (93% response rate). Comparison to hospital demographic data suggests that respondents were representative of the UK population. Nine hundred and eighty-three of 5181 (19%) women were currently self-monitoring their BP, constituting 189 of 389 (49%) hypertensive women and 794 of 4792 (17%) normotensive women. However, only 482 of 983 (49%) reported ever sharing this information with antenatal care teams. Of those who self-monitored, 68% (668/983) were able to provide a previous BP reading, compared with 1% (67/5181) of those who did not self-monitor. CONCLUSION: Many women are now choosing to self-monitor their BP during pregnancy and clinicians should enquire about this proactively and consider providing better information on BP monitoring. Those who self-monitor appear to have better knowledge about their blood pressure. If these findings were replicated nationwide, around 125 000 pregnant women would be currently self-monitoring BP in the UK, yet only half of these women may communicate their readings to their antenatal care teams, suggesting a missed opportunity for enhanced care. Current trials will make the place of self-monitoring in pregnancy clearer.
Journal of hypertension
994 - 1001