Background: High blood pressure in patients with stroke increases the risk of recurrence but management in the community is often inadequate. Home blood pressure monitoring may increase patients' involvement in their care, increase compliance, and reduce the need for patients to attend their General Practitioner if blood pressure is adequately controlled. However the value of home monitoring to improve blood pressure control is unclear. In particular its use has not been evaluated in stroke patients in whom neurological and cognitive ability may present unique challenges.
Design: Community based randomised trial with follow up after 12 months.
Participants: 360 patients admitted to three South London Stroke units with stroke or transient ischaemic attack within the past 9 months will be recruited from the wards or outpatients and randomly allocated into two groups. All patients will be visited by the specialist nurse at home at baseline when she will measure their blood pressure and administer a questionnaire. These procedures will be repeated at 12 months follow up by another researcher blind as to whether the patient is in intervention or control group.
Intervention: INTERVENTION patients will be given a validated home blood pressure monitor and support from the specialist nurse. Control patients will continue with usual care (blood pressure monitoring by their practice). Main outcome measures in both groups after 12 months: 1. Change in systolic blood pressure.2. Cost effectiveness: Incremental cost of the intervention to the National Health Service and incremental cost per quality adjusted life year gained.
Trial registration: Clinical Trials.gov registration NCT00514800.