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Self-Measured Blood Pressure Monitoring

Slide: 6 of 27

Background: BP Measurement Strategies — Measurement in the Health Care Setting

Accurate measurement of BP is critical to the appropriate diagnosis and management of this condition. Measurement of BP can be performed in a health care setting such as a physician’s office, clinic, or hospital. Measurement of BP can also be performed outside the health care setting such as at the patient’s home (by the patient, the patient’s companion, or a health care worker), at the patient’s workplace, or at the pharmacy. However, only measurement of BP at home by the patient or the patient’s companion will be discussed here.

Measurement of BP in the health care setting is the most common strategy for BP measurement. However, it has several limitations including:

  1. The need for the patient to have adequately rested before the measurement to obtain reliable and consistent readings.
  2. The possibility that a patient’s BP may rise as a result of being in the health care setting . This is termed “white coat” hypertension, and its prevalence is estimated to be from 10 to 20 percent.
  3. The possibility that a patient’s BP is normal in the clinic but not outside it. This is termed “masked” hypertension, and its prevalence is estimated to be 40 percent.