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J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2000 Jul;2(4):258-262.

Why Objective Monitoring of Compliance is Important in the Management of Hypertension.

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  • 1Division of Hypertension and Vascular Medicine and University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland.


Hypertensive patients often experience poor adherence to treatment, a frequent cause of uncontrolled blood pressure. In this study, we have evaluated whether or not the use of electronic monitoring for drug adherence is a useful approach to identify and correct compliance problems in hypertensive patients, which may ultimately enhance the effect of antihypertensive therapy. Sixty-nine treated patients with an office blood pressure greater than 140/90 mm Hg were enrolled in this study. With patient consent, current antihypertensive therapy was dispensed in electronic pillboxes that record the time and date of each opening without changing the drug regimen. The intention was to provide physicians with objective measurements of drug compliance. The monitoring of compliance per se without any other intervention induced a marked decrease of blood pressure in the whole group (from 159/104Â+/-23/12 mm Hg to 143/92Â+/-20/15, meansÂ+/-standard deviation, p less than 0.001). A complete normalization of blood pressure (less than 140/90 mm Hg) was obtained in one third of the patients (group 1, n=23) during the monitoring period. A significant improvement of blood pressure control was found in another third (group 2, n=23), whereas in the remaining patients (group 3, n=23) no change in blood pressure was observed. The distribution of individual compliance values, as well as the mean compliances was comparable in the three subgroups. Conversely, the compliance reports have identified several potentially overtreated patients in group 1, a large number of patients with a poor adherence to the prescribed therapy in all groups, and patients who clearly needed a change in pharmacotherapy mainly in group 3. Thus, our results suggest that electronic monitoring of compliance can considerably enhance the efficacy of antihypertensive therapy in patients with uncontrolled hypertension. This procedure should be used more extensively in clinical practice whenever the blood pressure response to therapy appears insufficient. (c)2000 by Le Jacq Communications, Inc.

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