Anticipated Impact on Veterans? Healthcare: Hypertension is the most common medical problem among US Veterans. Treatment is available and effective, but control rates remain under 75%. While blood pressure control has traditionally been achieved through sequential visits and medication changes initiated by providers during office-based care, self-monitoring and self-management of blood pressure medication is an important strategy that would empower Veterans to achieve better control of blood pressure. The health impacts of better systems for treatment of hypertension are significant, including decreased rates of cardiovascular and kidney disease. Project background: Recent literature from the UK (TASMINH2 and TASMIN-SR trials) have suggested that patient-driven self-management of blood pressure medications can be effective in achieving hypertension control, but questions remain as to how to apply these findings to a US population. The VA Healthcare System is an ideal system in which to test and customize this strategy for blood pressure treatment. Project objectives: We propose to address the following simple and powerful clinical research question: Is patient-initiated self-management of blood pressure medication using a pre-specified, generalizable dose escalation scheme clinically effective, safe, and acceptable to patients and clinicians, compared to usual care in controlling blood pressure in hypertensive veterans? Project methods: We propose a 12-month randomized, controlled, non-blinded, single-center study of patient-initiated self-management of blood pressure medication vs. usual care with planned post- study cohort follow-up via medical records. Participants in the intervention arm will be provided with home blood pressure monitoring tools and a self-management algorithm for changing their blood pressure medications as needed. Participants in the usual care arm will receive home monitoring tools and typical hypertension care from the primary care provider. The primary blood pressure outcome measure for the study will be between-group change in in-clinic blood pressure. Acceptability, safety, patient-centered outcomes and adherence will be key secondary outcomes.
High blood pressure is the most common health problem among US Veterans, and appropriate treatment can decrease risk of stroke, heart attack, and kidney problems. Although treatment is available, delivery of effective treatment is an ongoing challenge. Home blood pressure measurement is now considered an integral part of hypertension care but is poorly integrated in clinic-centered treatment strategies. We propose to test a patient-centered self-measurement and self-management strategy in Veterans and examine its effectiveness, safety, and acceptability.