Changes to management of hypertension in pregnancy, and attitudes to self-management: An online survey of obstetricians, before and following the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic
Fletcher B., Chappell LC., Lavallee L., Wilson HM., Stevens R., Mackillop L., McManus RJ., Tucker KL.
Objective: This study aimed to understand the views and practice of obstetricians regarding self-monitoring for hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (blood pressure (BP) and proteinuria), the potential for self-management (including actions taken on self-monitored parameters) and to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on such views. Design: Cross-sectional online survey pre- and post- the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Setting and Sample: UK obstetricians recruited via an online portal. Methods: A survey undertaken in two rounds: December 2019-January 2020 (pre-pandemic), and September-November 2020 (during pandemic) Results: 251 responses were received across rounds one (1 5 0) and two (1 0 1). Most obstetricians considered that self-monitoring of BP and home urinalysis had a role in guiding clinical decisions and this increased significantly following the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic (88%, (132/150) 95%CI: 83–93% first round vs 96% (95%CI: 92–94%), (97/101), second round; p = 0.039). Following the pandemic, nearly half were agreeable to women self-managing their hypertension by using their own readings to make a pre-agreed medication change themselves (47%, 47/101 (95%CI: 37–57%)). Conclusions: A substantial majority of UK obstetricians considered that self-monitoring had a role in the management of pregnancy hypertension and this increased following the pandemic. Around half are now supportive of women having a wider role in self-management of hypertensive treatment. Maximising the potential of such changes in pregnancy hypertension management requires further work to understand how to fully integrate women's own measurements into clinical care.