Background: Hypertension is a leading mortality risk factor yet inadequately controlled in most affected subjects. Effective programs to address this problem are lacking. We hypothesized that an information technology-supported management program could help improve blood pressure (BP) control.
Methods and results: This randomized controlled trial included 223 primary care hypertensive subjects with mean 24-hour BP >130/80 and daytime BP >135/85 mm Hg measured with ambulatory monitoring (ABPM). Intervention subjects received a BP monitor and access to an information technology-supported adherence and BP monitoring system providing nurses, pharmacists, and physicians with monthly reports. Control subjects received usual care. The mean (+/-SD) follow-up was 348 (+/-78) and 349 (+/-84) days in the intervention and control group, respectively. The primary end point of the change in the mean 24-hour ambulatory BP was consistently greater in intervention subjects for both systolic (-11.9 versus -7.1 mm Hg; P<0.001) and diastolic BP (-6.6 versus -4.5 mm Hg; P=0.007). The proportion of subjects that achieved Canadian Guideline target BP (46.0% versus 28.6%) was also greater in the intervention group (P=0.006). We observed similar BP declines for ABPM and self-recorded home BP suggesting the latter could be an alternative for confirming BP control. The intervention was associated with more physician-driven antihypertensive dose adjustments or changes in agents (P=0.03), more antihypertensive classes at study end (P=0.007), and a trend toward improved adherence measured by prescription refills (P=0.07).
Conclusions: This multidisciplinary information technology-supported program that provided feedback to patients and healthcare providers significantly improved blood pressure levels in a primary care setting.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00374829.