The Difficulty of Following Self-Measure Blood Pressure Recommendations

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) estimates that 31 percent of Virginia adults, equating to more than 1.9 million people, have hypertension. There is growing concern about the disease’s impact on individuals as well as health care costs because of the likelihood that hypertension prevalence will increase. The Center of Communicable Diseases (CDC) and VDH recommend patients self-measure their blood pressure (SMBP). VHHA and Community Health Solutions recently completed an environmental scan to determine issues related to the recommendation. They surveyed primary care practices and commercial pharmacies to learn more about SMBP from providers’ perspectives. It turns out that from the providers’ perspective, people have difficulty remembering to measure their blood pressure and trouble doing so correctly (see Tables 1 and 2). They also have difficulty consistently recording their blood pressure and sharing that information with health care providers (see Tables 3 and 4). Over the next year, VHHA will work with providers and pharmacies on ways to increase Virginians’ success with SMBP recommendations. (7/24/2015)

Table 1.  Patients Having Difficulty Remembering to Measure Their Blood Pressure

  No patients <25% of patients 25-50% of patients >50% of patients Not sure
Primary Care Site 4% 24% 31% 24% 17%
Pharmacy Site 2% 19% 40% 32% 7%

 

Table 2. Patients Having Difficulty Consistently Measuring Their Blood Pressure Correctly

  No patients <25% of patients 25-50% of patients >50% of patients Not sure
Primary Care Site 4% 26% 29% 22% 19%
Pharmacy Site 0% 26% 34% 33% 7%

 

Table 3.  Patients Having Difficulty Consistently Recording Their Blood Pressure Correctly

  No patients <25% of patients 25-50% of patients >50% of patients Not sure
Primary Care Site 4% 27% 28% 23% 17%
Pharmacy Site 2% 24% 31% 36% 8%

 

Table 4. Patients Consistently Communicating With Their Provider about Their Blood Pressure

  No patients <25% of patients 25-50% of patients >50% of patients Not Sure
Primary Care Site 7% 26% 25% 25% 17%
Pharmacy Site 3% 28% 31% 32% 5%