Seniors are perceived as relatively passive recipients of health care, and levels and predictors of blood pressure awareness and self-monitoring in these patients are poorly understood.
To determine the extent to which seniors are aware of their blood pressure status and targets and to examine correlates of blood pressure awareness and self-monitoring.
We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of a 32-item baseline questionnaire that was completed by patients aged 65 years and older who were attending pharmacy-based cardiovascular health promotion sessions. The study comprised sociodemographic data, as well as data on health-related quality of life, knowledge of current blood pressure readings and targets, and treatment and monitoring of blood pressure in the previous year.
Of the 983 respondents, 379 (38.5%) recalled their most recent blood pressure reading. For one-third of these respondents (323/983), their physicians relayed blood pressure targets; of these, 26.9% (87/323) reported targets consistent with current guidelines. Overall, 47.1% (463/983) reported monitoring blood pressure in the past year. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that older patients (aged 80 years and older) were less likely to know their blood pressure readings, compared with those who were younger. Patients with a postsecondary education, those who were diagnosed with high blood pressure, and those who were told their target blood pressure were more apt to know their readings, relative to those less educated, undiagnosed, or unaware of their target blood pressure. Participants who were aged 80 years and older were a negative predictor of self-monitoring in multivariate analysis, whereas living with someone, previous diagnosis of high blood pressure, and being advised of their target blood pressure were positive predictors.
Seniors had a relatively poor understanding of their blood pressure readings and targets, but a subset was considerably more knowledgeable and potentially suited to be more involved in blood pressure self-management.