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Screening for hypertension

an elevated office blood pressure measurement is valuable, adding an automated one is even better

Michaud, Andréa; Lamarre-Cliche, Maximeb; Cloutier, Lynea

doi: 10.1097/MBP.0000000000000382
Clinical Studies

Background Previous studies have examined the relevance of hypertension (HTN) screening in walk-in clinics. So far, no valid algorithm has been proposed on how to integrate HTN screening in this context. The aim of our study was to assess, in a walk-in clinic setting, the HTN screening strategy for performing an automated office blood pressure (AOBP) measurement following an initially high office blood pressure (OBP) measurement.

Patients and methods Included participants were adults with nonemergent medical conditions and an initial walk-in clinic OBP between systolic 140 and/or diastolic 90 mmHg and systolic 180 and/or diastolic 110 mmHg. AOBP was performed with patients unattended. The 24-h ambulatory blood pressure measurement (ABPM) was used as the diagnostic threshold.

Results Fifty participants were included in the study. The overall HTN prevalence as confirmed by the 24-h ABPM was 46% [95% confidence interval (CI): 32.19–59.81]. After an elevated OBP, AOBP over diagnostic thresholds occurred in 32 patients and were confirmed by ABPM in 20 participants, leading to a 62.5% positive predictive value (95% CI: 51.5–72.3%). Measurements under the AOBP diagnostic threshold occurred in 18 patients and were confirmed by ABPM in 15 participants, leading to a negative predictive value of 83.3% (95% CI: 62.3–93.8%).

Conclusion In a walk-in clinic, an elevated OBP is a useful screening tool due its ability to recognize nearly one in two patients as actually hypertensive. Adding an AOBP makes it possible to specify what course of action to take. This ultimately results in better targeting of patients for an ABPM referral.

aDepartment of Nusing, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Trois-Rivières

bInstitut De Recherches Cliniques De Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Correspondence to André Michaud, RN, PhD(c), Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, 3351 Boulevard des Forges, Trois-Rivières, QC, Canada G9A 5H7 Tel: +1 800 365 0922; fax: +1 819 376 5210; e-mail:

Received November 26, 2018

Received in revised form March 22, 2019

Accepted March 29, 2019

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