Our research aimed to find out whether high blood pressure is better controlled using blood pressure readings taken by patients at home compared to clinic readings.
Why this is important:
Raised blood pressure is common. It causes very few symptoms but treatment can prevent the risk of stroke or heart disease. Decisions about how much blood pressure medication to take and when to change it are made by GPs and nurses taking blood pressure in the surgery. Self-monitoring reduces blood pressure, however, due to a lack of evidence, self-monitoring is not recommended in current guidelines to guide routine management of hypertension in the UK.
We recruited over 1000 participants. Study participants were asked to self-monitor their blood pressure twice a day every first week of the month. Study participants were asked to send their home readings to the surgery by post (self-monitoring) or by free text message (tele-monitoring) and the GP then adjusted the medication if necessary to achieve the best health care for patients.
How this could benefit patients:
Self-monitoring of blood pressure has been shown to reduce blood pressure.