Send to

Choose Destination
Hipertens Riesgo Vasc. 2015 Jan-Mar;32(1):6-11. doi: 10.1016/j.hipert.2014.09.001. Epub 2014 Dec 17.

[Determination of arm circumference for correct measurement of blood pressure. Results of an intervention study].

[Article in Spanish]

Author information

Centre d'Atenció Primària Sagrada Familia, Àrea Bàsica de Salut Gaudí, Consorci Sanitari Integral, Barcelona, España. Electronic address:
Centre d'Atenció Primària Horta, Institut Català de la Salut, Barcelona, España.
Centre d'Atenció Primària Consell de Cent, Institut Català de la Salut, Barcelona, España.
Centre d'Atenció Primària Guineueta, Institut Català de la Salut, Barcelona, España.
Centre d'Atenció Primària Gòtic, Institut Català de la Salut, Barcelona, España.



To assess the effectiveness of an intervention to promote standardized arm circumference measurement as way to choose appropriate cuff size to measure blood pressure.


A before-after intervention study was performed in a basic health care area in Barcelona. Doctors, nurses and pharmacy staff participated by filling out an anonymous self-administered questionnaire pre- and post-intervention (3m). Variables included: demographics, type of professional, years since they finished their studies, availability of different cuff sizes, if arm circumference measurement were obtained or not, knowledge about the cutoff values for each cuff size and type of blood pressure monitor.


The written results were given to the participants and presented in sessions.


Pre- and post-intervention: 74.3 and 67.3% answered the questionnaires (P=ns), respectively. Determination of arm circumference varied from 1.3 to 19.1% (P=.009). A total of 37.3% and 44.1% declared that they had 2 or more available cuff sizes (P=ns). Knowledge about the correct measurement of the cuffs was 2.7 to 33.8% regarding the standard cuff size (P=.0198) and 0 to 23.5% for obese subjects (P<.05). When more than one cuff was available, reasons for the choice went from: «making a rough guess» or «when velcro stops sticking» before and after the intervention. All blood pressure devices in our primary health care center were electronic and automatic as were those of the 9 pharmacies.


The intervention increased the determination of arm circumference prior to the reading of the blood pressure and the knowledge about the cutoff interval for standard and obese cuff size after intervention. There was greater availability of different sized cuffs. Despite this, the choice of the appropriate cuff size was not made based on arm circumference.


Blood pressure measurement; Cuff; Health care professional; Hipertensión; Hypertension; Manguito; Medida de la presión arterial; Profesional sanitario

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center