Automated phone calls to have blood pressure checked effective

Sept. 18, 2013 at 12:54 AM
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PASADENA, Calif., Sept. 18 (UPI) -- Patients who got automated telephone calls inviting them to get their blood pressure checked were more likely to control hypertension, U.S. researchers say.

Lead author Teresa Harrison, a research associate at Kaiser Permanente Southern California's Department of Research & Evaluation in Pasadena, Calif., said the study involved 64,773 adult members of Kaiser Permanente Southern California with uncontrolled hypertension, or high blood pressure.

Roughly half of these Kaiser Permanente members received automated phone messages encouraging them to have their blood pressure measured at a Kaiser Permanente clinic, while the other group received no calls.

The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension, found four weeks after Kaiser Permanente delivered the telephone messages, 32.5 percent of the patients who received automated calls had controlled hypertension, while 23.7 percent of patients who did not receive a call had controlled hypertension.

"This study provides new information about how an automated telephone message can lead to improved blood pressure control among patients with hypertension," Harrison said in a statement.

"We found that this simple outreach program can improve blood pressure control, especially among patients with multiple chronic conditions."

Female patients who were older and had higher incomes were more likely to achieve blood pressure control at the end of the follow-up period than the rest of the study group, Harrison said.

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