Patients' perceptions of changes in their blood pressure

Cantillon, P., Morgan, M., Dundas, R. , Simpson, J., Bartholomew, J. and Shaw, A. (1997) Patients' perceptions of changes in their blood pressure. Journal of Human Hypertension, 11(4), pp. 221-225.

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Objectives: (1) To investigate patients' experience of changes in their blood pressure (BP) in an every day setting and the accuracy of patients' predictions; and (2) to examine what influences patients' belief that they can tell when their BP is up. Subjects: A total of 102 hypertensive patients were recruited sequentially as they presented for routine BP checks. The setting was an inner city general practice. Design: Patients attended for BP checks on a weekly basis. Before each check they were asked whether they thought their BP was higher, lower or the same as usual. Subjects were classified as predictors if they thought they could tell when their BP was up. On completing their series of BP checks each subject completed symptom and Hospital Anxiety and Depression questionnaires. Main outcome measures: Accuracy of BP predictions, BP levels and variability, number of symptoms reported and anxiety level. Results: One hundred and two hypertensive patients entered the study of whom 51 patients were predictors. The majority (86%) of predictors could not accurately predict their BP. There were no significant differences in either BP or variability between predictors and non-predictors. Predictors were significantly more anxious and reported more symptoms than non-predictors. Conclusions: For the majority of predictors there is no significant relationship between predictions of BP and clinical measurements. Predictor status is associated with the reporting of more symptoms and higher levels of anxiety. Doctors should counsel patients against using subjective BP assessments to guide their use of antihypertensive medication.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Dundas, Professor Ruth
Authors: Cantillon, P., Morgan, M., Dundas, R., Simpson, J., Bartholomew, J., and Shaw, A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Journal of Human Hypertension
ISSN (Online):1476-5527

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