American Journal of Medicine, internal medicine, medicine, health, healthy lifestyles, cancer, heart disease, drugs

Development and Preliminary Feasibility of an Automated Hypertension Self-Management System

doctor testing for blood pressure

Uncontrolled hypertension constitutes a significant challenge throughout the world. Blood pressure measurement by patients is informative for both patients and providers but is rarely performed systematically, thereby reducing its utility. Mobile phones can be used to efficiently prompt individuals to measure blood pressure and automate data management while avoiding technology barriers to widespread adoption. Presented is the design and pilot test results of MyBP, an automated texting intervention to support blood pressure self-monitoring and patient self-management.

Methods

Three sequential phases are described: (1) stakeholders’ needs assessment, (2) preliminary design pilot (n = 10), and (3) a 6-week pilot of the redesigned comprehensive program with hypertensive patients (n = 43) recruited from 3 clinical sites (Emergency Department, Primary Care, Hypertension Center). Outcomes of interest included participant adherence, perceived importance of blood pressure monitoring, and healthy behavior change.

Results

Median adherence to MyBP prompts over 6 weeks was 79% (72% emergency department, 84% primary care, and 96% hypertension center, H[2] = 5.56, P = .06). Adherence did not vary by age, sex, education, or baseline use of texting but was lowest among patients recruited from the emergency department (χ[2]2 = 6.66, P = .04). In the exit survey, MyBP was associated with increased importance of blood pressure self-monitoring and particularly motivated primary care and emergency department groups to improve dietary habits, increase daily physical activity, and focus on stress reduction. The majority of participants (88%) indicated interest in using the program for 6 months.

Conclusions

Automated mobile-phone–based blood pressure self-monitoring using MyBP is feasible, acceptable, and scalable, and may improve self-management and support clinical care.

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-Taya Irizarry, PhD, Matthew Allen, BS, Brian P. Suffoletto, MD, Julian Einhorn, BS, Lora E. Burke, PhD MPH, Thomas W. Kamarck, PhD, Bruce L. Rollman, MD, MPH, Matthew F. Muldoon, MD, MPH

This article originally appeared in the September issue of The American Journal of Medicine.

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