Background: Home self-monitoring of blood pressure is widely used in primary care to assist in the diagnosis of hypertension, as well as to improve clinical outcomes and support adherence to medication. NICE care pathways for hypertension recommend specific guidelines, although they lack detail on supporting patients to self-monitor. Aim: We aimed to elicit primary care practitioners’ experiences of managing patients’ home blood pressure self-monitoring, across surgeries located in different socio-economic areas. Design and setting: A qualitative focus group study was conducted with a total of 21 primary care professionals. Methods: Participants were general practitioners and practice nurses, purposively recruited from surgeries in areas of low and high deprivation, according to the English indices of multiple deprivation. We developed six vignettes featuring data from interviews with people who self-monitor and used these in five focus groups. Results were thematically analysed. Results: Themes derived in the thematic analysis largely reflected topics covered by the vignettes. These included: advice onsing purchase of a device, supporting home monitoring, mitigating patient anxiety experienced as a result of home monitoring, valuing patients’ data, and effect of socioeconomic factors. Conclusion: Our work provides an account of methods used by primary care practitioners in the management of home blood pressure self-monitoring, where guidance may be lacking and primary care practitioners act on their own judgment. Findings complement recent policy documentation, which recognises the need to adopt new ways of working to empower patients (e.g. additional support from healthcare assistants) but lacks detail on how this should be done.
|Publication status||Published - 4 Nov 2020|