To appropriately manage uncontrolled hypertension, clinicians must decide whether blood pressure (BP) is above goal due to a need for additional medication or to medication nonadherence. Yet, clinicians are poor judges of adherence, and uncertainty about adherence may promote inertia with respect to medication modification.
We aimed to determine the effect of sharing electronically-measured adherence data with clinicians on the management of uncontrolled hypertension.
This was a cluster randomized trial.
Twenty-four primary care providers (12 intervention, 12 usual care; cluster units) and 100 patients with uncontrolled hypertension (65 intervention, 35 usual care) were included in the study.
At one visit per patient, clinicians in the intervention group received a report summarizing electronically measured adherence to the BP regimen and recommended clinical actions. Clinicians in the control group did not receive a report.
The primary outcome was the proportion of visits with appropriate clinical management (i.e., treatment intensification among adherent patients and adherence counseling among nonadherent patients). Secondary outcomes included patient-rated quality of care and communication during the visit.
The proportion of visits with appropriate clinical management was higher in the intervention group than the control group (45 out of 65; 69 %) versus (12 out of 35; 34 %; p = 0.001). A higher proportion of adherent patients in the intervention group had their regimen intensified (p = 0.01), and a higher proportion of nonadherent patients in the intervention group received adherence counseling (p = 0.005). Patients in the intervention group were more likely to give their clinician high ratings on quality of care (p = 0.05), and on measures of patient-centered (p = 0.001) and collaborative communication (p = 0.02).
Providing clinicians with electronically-measured antihypertensive adherence reports reduces inertia in the management of uncontrolled hypertension.”