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JMIR Res Protoc. 2019 Jan 25;8(1):e12601. doi: 10.2196/12601.

Improving Blood Pressure Among African Americans With Hypertension Using a Mobile Health Approach (the MI-BP App): Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial.

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Department of Family Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States.
Integrative Biosciences Center, Department of Emergency Medicine, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, United States.
School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States.
Department of Emergency Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, United States.
Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States.



African Americans shoulder significant disparities related to hypertension (HTN), which is a serious public health problem in the city of Detroit, Michigan, where more than 80% of the population is African American. Connectivity through smartphones, use of home blood pressure (BP) monitoring, and newly developed mobile health (mHealth) interventions can facilitate behavioral changes and may improve long-term self-care for chronic conditions, but implementation of a combined approach utilizing these methods has not been tested among African American patients with uncontrolled HTN. Since African Americans are more likely than other racial or ethnic subgroups to utilize the emergency department (ED) for ambulatory care, this presents an opportunity to intervene on a population that is otherwise difficult to reach.


The MI-BP app aims to reduce health disparities related to HTN in the community by employing a user-centered intervention focused on self-BP monitoring, physical activity, reduced sodium intake, and medication adherence. We seek to test the efficacy of MI-BP, an mHealth app for HTN self-management, on BP control (primary aim), physical activity, sodium intake, and medication adherence (secondary aim) in African Americans with HTN. This study also seeks to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of MI-BP when compared with usual care methods.


This is a 1-year randomized controlled trial that will recruit individuals who have uncontrolled HTN from 2 EDs in the city of Detroit, with a planned sample size of 396 randomized participants. To be eligible for inclusion, potential participants must be African American, 25 to 70 years old, previously diagnosed with HTN, have a smartphone compatible with MI-BP, and have uncontrolled BP at triage and on repeat measurement at least 1-hour post triage vitals. Once a participant is deemed eligible, all study procedures and subsequent follow-up visits (8 in total) are conducted at the Wayne State University Clinical Research Service Center. We seek to determine the effect of MI-BP on BP for 1 year (using BP control and mean systolic BP as coprimary outcomes and physical activity, sodium intake, and medication adherence as secondary outcomes) compared with usual care controls.


Recruitment for this study began in January 2018. The study will continue through 2021.


As the first of its kind conducted in an ED setting, MI-BP was designed to document the efficacy and acceptability of a multicomponent mHealth approach to help African Americans with uncontrolled BP modify their lifestyle to better manage their HTN. We expect to lay the foundation to sustainably reduce HTN-related health disparities through better integration of multiple behavior self-monitoring and improve outcomes for those who traditionally rely on the ED for chronic disease care.





blood pressure; hypertension; mHealth; mobile phone; smartphone

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