PUBLICATION DATE: March 30, 2022
Background: Home-measured blood pressure (HMBP) in combination with comprehensive medication support and lifestyle change are the mainstays of evidence-based hypertension (HTN) management. To date, the precise components needed for effective HTN self-management programs have yet to be defined, and access to multicomponent targeted support for HTN management that include telemonitoring remain inaccessible and costly.
Objective: The aim of this pilot study was to evaluate the impact of a digital HTN self-management program on blood pressure (BP) control among adults with excess body weight.
Methods: A single-arm, nonrandomized trial was performed to evaluate a digital HTN self-management program that combines comprehensive lifestyle counseling with HTN education, guided HMBP, support for taking medications, and led by either a registered nurse or certified diabetes care and education specialist. A sample of 151 participants were recruited using a web-based research platform (Achievement Studies, Evidation Health Inc). The primary outcome was change in systolic BP from baseline to 3 months, and secondary outcomes included change in diastolic BP and medication adherence.
Results: Participants' mean age was 44.0 (SD 9.3) years and mean BP was 139/85 mm Hg. At follow-up, systolic and diastolic BP decreased by 7 mm Hg (P<.001, 95% CI -9.3 to -4.7) and 4.7 mm Hg (P<.001, 95% CI -6.3 to -3.2), respectively. Participants who started with baseline BP at goal remained at goal. For participants with stage 1 HTN, systolic and diastolic BP decreased by 3.6 mm Hg (P=.09, 95% CI -7.8 to 0.6) and 2.5 mm Hg (P=.03, 95% CI -4.9 to -0.3). Systolic and diastolic BP decreased by 10.3 mm Hg (P<.001, 95% CI -13.4 to -7.1) and 6.5 mm Hg (P<.001, 95% CI -8.6 to -4.4), respectively, for participants with stage 2 HTN. Medication adherence significantly improved (P=.02).
Conclusions: This pilot study provides initial evidence that a digital HTN self-management program improves BP and medication adherence.