Home blood pressure monitoring with pharmacist follow-up can help people get hypertension under control. That’s the conclusion of a year-long study in 450 people with systolic blood pressure at or above 140 and diastolic pressure at or above 90.
Study subjects were randomly assigned to receive usual care or a home blood pressure monitor. Those who measured their blood pressure at home had the data transmitted electronically to a secure website. They were instructed to take their blood pressure at least 6 times a week.
Pharmacists monitored the measurements and talked with the patients every two weeks by telephone at first, and then every month as the study proceeded. This intervention was significantly better at lowering blood pressure than usual care. Nearly 3/4 of the patients monitoring their blood pressure at home were able to keep it under control six months after the study ended, compared to just about half of those provided usual care. The drop from baseline readings was also greater in the “telemonitoring” group.
This is not the first study to find that home blood pressure monitoring with pharmacist feedback and advice is helpful. We reported on a previous one in March, 2013. It is very likely that sympathetic feedback from a health professional such as a pharmacist or a nurse is beneficial, but it may also be possible for motivated individuals to do this on their own. If you would like to know more about controlling blood pressure, with or without medications, we offer our Guide to Blood Pressure Treatment.