High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a common health condition that can increase the risk of heart disease and other health problems. Researchers conducted a study to see if a virtual hypertension program could help lower blood pressure in patients.
Thirty-one patients were randomly assigned to a virtual collaborative care clinic (vCCC) or usual care for three months. In the vCCC group, trained clinical pharmacists remotely managed the patient's blood pressure using a blood pressure dashboard and virtual "visits" to monitor blood pressure, medication adherence, and side effects. The patient's blood pressure was also observed using a home blood pressure monitor.
After three months, the results showed that the average blood pressure decreased in the vCCC group but not in the usual care group. This suggests that the virtual program was effective in helping to lower blood pressure in the vCCC group. In addition, the patients in the vCCC group measured their blood pressure more frequently at home than the usual care group, showing that the virtual program encouraged better self-monitoring of blood pressure.
The virtual hypertension program was also well-received by patients and healthcare providers. Both patients and healthcare providers rated the program components positively, with average scores above a pre-specified benchmark. This indicates that the virtual program was acceptable and feasible for patients and healthcare providers. Some healthcare providers and pharmacists found the program helpful in remotely managing patients' blood pressure.
Based on feedback from patients and healthcare providers, some changes were made to the design and delivery of the virtual hypertension program. This shows that the researchers were responsive to feedback and made adaptations to improve the program based on potential barriers to implementation.
The study found that a home-based virtual hypertension program, which used team-based care, technology, and evidence-based strategies, was safe, acceptable, and feasible for patients and healthcare providers. The program showed promising results in helping to lower blood pressure and encouraging self-monitoring of blood pressure at home. These findings support the need for further studies to assess the effectiveness of the virtual hypertension program on a larger scale. If successful, such programs could be valuable in managing hypertension and improving patients' cardiovascular health.