How accurate are automated blood pressure monitors?

Br J Community Nurs. 2005 Jul;10(7):334-8. doi: 10.12968/bjcn.2005.10.7.18331.


Increasingly, automated blood pressure devices are replacing mercury sphygmomanometers to monitor blood pressure in primary care settings. Practitioners have raised questions about the accuracy of these new devices, so a mini-review was undertaken to examine the evidence. A systematic search of the Medline database identified seven studies that were of sufficient quality. Eight devices were examined, all of which had passed validation procedures, achieving A or B grades according to current protocols. All were 'recommended for clinical use', despite the tendency of the devices to produce inaccurate measurements in high blood pressure ranges. The review demonstrates that 'accuracy' of the new devices does not equate to the accustomed accuracy of the mercury sphygmomanometer.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Pressure Determination / instrumentation
  • Blood Pressure Monitors / standards*
  • Humans
  • Sphygmomanometers