A qualitative study done in the United Kingdom assessed the reasons a person uses a self-monitoring blood pressure device.
Blood pressure monitoring is important for the management of hypertension. Self-monitoring devices have been available for use to the public and have improved the detection of hypertension and adherence to medications.
In a recent article published in the British Journal of General Practice, a group of researchers conducted a qualitative study to determine the reasons why a person uses a BP self-screening device. A total of 30 participants who were at least 18 years of age were interviewed by a non-clinical researcher to assess the following: 1) knowledge and attitude toward blood pressure, 2) usage of blood pressure self-monitoring devices, and 3) process of how blood pressure was monitored.
The results show that 47% of the participants used a blood pressure self-screening facility. These participants also stated that the monitoring device was easy to use. The following are the reasons why the participants use the device: 1) observing the device while waiting for their appointment with healthcare personnel, 2) feeling that taking the blood pressure will aid the physician in making a diagnosis, and 3) feeling of having control. Participants who did not use a blood pressure monitoring device cited the following reasons: 1) concerns about the reliability of self-monitoring devices, 2) limited awareness of the availability of facilities, 3) feeling that there is no need to check their own blood pressure as they do not feel any symptoms, and 4) blood pressure monitoring is part of the job of a clinician.
Overall, the results of the study provide useful information for the promotion of blood pressure self-monitoring devices. Informing the public about the availability of self-monitoring devices and the benefits associated with their use may help improve the rate of use and ultimately improve the management of hypertension.
Written By: Karla Sevilla