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J Hum Hypertens. 1991 Oct;5(5):437-41.

The impact of a patient education programme in the control of hypertension.

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Unitat d'Hipertensió, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain.


The value of patient education programmes in the control of hypertension is controversial. We have conducted a prospective study to investigate a patient education programme in our clinic. Every new patient was randomised into one of two different groups: a control group (CG, n = 149) and an intervention group (IG, n = 138); the latter group was invited to attend two educational talks and subsequently one tutorial meeting. Blood pressure, heart rate, Quetelet Index, attendance, knowledge level, analytical parameters and the prevalence of other risk factors were measured in both groups before and after 6 months follow-up. No significant differences were detected between the two groups initially. At 6 months, both groups significantly lowered their BP; the only differences observed between groups (IG vs. CG) were: the number of correct answers to the questionnaire (14.5 +/- 3.7 vs. 12.9 +/- 3.7, P less than 0.01), the rate of occasional therapeutic abandonment (10.3 vs. 25%, P less than 0.05), 24 h sodium excretion (97 +/- 45 vs. 127 +/- 68 mmol/l, P less than 0.01) and the number of withdrawals (39 vs. 25%, P less than 0.05). We conclude that in spite of increased knowledge, less frequent abandonment of drug treatment and better observance of a low salt diet, patients in the IG had an increase in the number of drop-outs. Our data suggest that education in hypertension clinics should play a supportive role rather than a primary one in the control of high blood pressure.

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