Self-monitoring of blood pressure during pregnancy: an observational study in the obstetrical waiting room

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Abstract

Objective

The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility of self-monitoring of blood pressure with a semiautomatic device in pregnant women.

Participants and methods

Women attending routine obstetrical ultrasound scanning were invited to participate. The hospital staff initially demonstrated and instructed each participant in correct measurement and then took three measurements on both arms. The participant then repeated the measurements and filled an evaluation questionnaire. We used a validated semiautomatic device for all measurements. Mean values were calculated for systolic, diastolic and mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) and were compared using the paired sample t-test. Mean values and differences of systolic and diastolic pressure were plotted in Bland–Altman plots to test the agreement of the measurements. Finally, a mean evaluation score was calculated.

Results

One hundred pregnant women were included in the study. Mean values of systolic, diastolic and MAP were 110.6, 69.7 and 83.3 mmHg, respectively, as assessed by the hospital staff. The corresponding self-measurements were 111.4, 70.2 and 83.9 mmHg, respectively. Mean differences between hospital and self-measurements were 0.79 mmHg for systolic [P=0.052, 95% confidence interval (CI)=−0.008 to 1.58], 0.49 mmHg for diastolic (P=0.056, 95% CI=−0.01 to 0.99) and 0.59 mmHg for MAP (P=0.019, 95% CI=0.099–1.08). The mean evaluation score was 9.2 of 10.

Conclusion

Differences between hospital staff and self-measurements in systolic, diastolic and MAP are within acceptable international standards. The semiautomatic device Microlife-VSA is well suited for self-measurement; however, safety studies on the use of home measurements in hypertensive pregnancies are still warranted.

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