The effect of a patient education booklet and BP 'tracker' on knowledge about hypertension. A randomized controlled trial
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PURPOSE: Home blood pressure (BP) monitoring is increasingly prevalent. The Canadian Hypertension Education Program (CHEP) developed a Family Practice BP tracking diary for home readings with an educational booklet. We evaluated the effectiveness of these tools compared with the standard approach of a hypertension information leaflet on BP-related knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of hypertensive family practice patients. METHOD: Single-blind randomized control trial on patients with raised BP. RESULTS: Three practices in Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia recruited a total of 109 eligible patients. The average age was 66.1 (SD 9.3) years and 58 (54.7%) were male. There was a statistically significant increase in the mean number of correct responses to 20 hypertension knowledge questions of 1.14 from 15.3 (SD 2.2) at baseline to 16.4 (SD 2.2) at 3 months in both groups (n=72, P<0.001). Patients frequently did not realize that usually more than one drug plus lifestyles changes were necessary to reduce BP to target or that it might take 6 weeks for some drugs to achieve their full effect. The BP tracking diary and the booklet had positive evaluation from the patients. CONCLUSIONS: Most patients have a good baseline of knowledge about hypertension but there are still important areas that need to be addressed. The booklet and tracker were well received by patients but the simple leaflet was as effective at improving knowledge.
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