Indexed on: 21 Dec '13Published on: 21 Dec '13Published in: Family practice
Although practice nurses are increasingly involved in hypertension management, there is little robust evidence of effectiveness.To evaluate the effect of a specialist nurse-led hypertension clinic with consultant backup on change in systolic blood pressure.Randomized trial.Two inner city general practices. Participants. Three hundred and fifty-three patients, mean age 62 years (range 18-99), with last recorded blood pressure ≥ British Hypertension Society audit standard were randomly allocated to the nurse-led clinic or usual care. Intervention. Patients received a letter informing them that their last blood pressure was over target and inviting them to the clinic. After assessment at the clinic, the nurse discussed any changes in anti-hypertensive treatment with a visiting consultant and the patient's GP, and followed up the patient over 6 months until blood pressure targets were achieved.Reduction in systolic blood pressure, assessed using two audits of the practices' computerized records where blood pressure was measured independently by practice staff before and after the intervention period.Follow-up was 89% (313/353). There was greater reduction in systolic blood pressure in the clinic group (n = 144) than usual care group (n = 169, adjusted difference 4.4 mmHg; 95% CI 0.7 to 8.2). Of 167 patients randomly selected for the clinic, 91 (55%) attended, 49 had blood pressure above target when measured according to protocol and 26 had their anti-hypertensive treatment intensified by their GP.Invitation to a specialist nurse-led hypertension clinic with consultant back up was associated with reduced systolic blood pressure.