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The Benefits of Self-Measured Blood Pressure

Comment by Eugenio Greco on behalf of EACPR Prevention, Epidemiology and Population Science Section

Self-Measured Blood Pressure Monitoring in the Management of Hypertension; A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
Uhlig K, Patel K, Ip S, Kitsios GD, Balk EM.
Ann Intern Med 2013; 159(3): 184 - 194.


Clinical practice guidelines recommend self-measured blood pressure (SMBP) monitoring (refers to the measurement of BP by a patient at home or outside of a clinic setting) as an adjunct method in the management of hypertension, both for evaluation of most patients with known or suspected hypertension and to assess response to treatment and possibly improve adherence.

Despite these recommendations, it is unclear whether SMBP monitoring confers benefit, and if so, for how long.

In this systematic review the authors evaluated 52 prospective comparative studies on SMBP monitoring at home with or without additional support versus usual care in adults with hypertension to summarise evidence about its effectiveness.

The results of the study have shown that:

  • for SMBP monitoring alone versus usual care, moderate-strength evidence supports a lower BP with SMBP monitoring at 6 months and possibly at 12 months
  • for SMBP monitoring plus additional support versus usual care, high-strength evidence supports a lower BP for up to 12 months
  • for SMBP monitoring plus additional support versus SMBP monitoring alone or with less intense additional support, low-strength evidence fails to support a difference for BP.

The conclusions of the authors were that SMBP monitoring lowers BP, but its sustainability beyond 12 months and long-term clinical effectiveness (clinical outcomes) remain uncertain.