AHA: Telemonitoring Improves Blood Pressure Control

Telemonitoring with pharmacist-directed therapy adjustments improves adherence, lowers BP

FRIDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- Patients receiving telemonitoring along with high blood pressure (BP) management support from a pharmacist are more likely to achieve BP control than patients receiving usual care, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's Quality of Care & Outcomes Research 2012 Scientific Sessions, held from May 9 to 11 in Atlanta.

Karen L. Margolis, M.D., M.P.H., from HealthPartners Research Foundation in Bloomington, Minn., and colleagues randomized 222 patients with high BP to usual care, and 228 patients to an intervention that included home telemonitoring. During the 12-month intervention, pharmacists consulted with patients by phone to adjust antihypertensive therapy based on home BP data. BP control at six months was defined as BP ≤140/90 mm Hg (or ≤130/80 mm Hg in patients with chronic kidney disease or diabetes).

The researchers found that the participants had a mean age of 61 years (45 percent female) and had a mean BP at baseline of 148/85 mm Hg. Of the 403 patients followed for six months (197 usual care, 206 intervention), significantly more patients in the intervention group achieved BP control (71.8 percent, versus 45.2 percent in usual care), and there was a larger decrease in the mean systolic BP and diastolic BP in the intervention group. Self-reported satisfaction with care at six months was significantly higher for the intervention group than usual-care group. Based on self-reported measures on the Morisky scale, there was significantly better medication adherence in the intervention group than the usual-care group.

"These early results suggest that home blood pressure telemonitoring with extra telephone care by a pharmacist was very effective in improving blood pressure control," Margolis said in a statement. "If these early results can be sustained over the long run, it might decrease the number of patients who suffer heart attacks, strokes, or other complication of high blood pressure."

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