Guideline-concordant performance of accurate blood pressure measurement (BPM), whether the modality is home (HBPM), ambulatory (ABPM), automated (AOBP) or office (OBPM), is dependent on proper technique. Knowledge, perception and practice of health professionals for BPM is crucial and has been partly studied, but a thorough review has never been reported. A scoping review of global studies was conducted to synthesize published data on this topic.
An Arksey and O‘Malley methodological framework was used. Keywords were identified and extraction was completed to April 2019 using CINAHL and MEDLINE. Studies were classified as positive for knowledge, perception and practice if the majority (>50%) of reported responses were favourable, and negative otherwise. If specific results were not reported, the author's conclusions were used to classified.
Seventy-two studies were identified: 25 HBPM, 14 ABPM, two AOBP, 40 OBPM. For knowledge, the percentage of negative studies were higher for HBPM (40%) and OBPM (68%) and lower for ABPM (14%) regarding BPM techniques. For perception, the number of negative studies were lower for HBPM (20%) and ABPM (7%) regarding usefulness of BPM methods in hypertension management. For practice, the number of negative studies were higher for HBPM (48%), ABPM (71%), OBPM (73%) and AOBP (50%) regarding implementation of hypertension guidelines.
The results of this scoping review demonstrate adequate perception of BPM but suboptimal knowledge and practice. Education is still needed to improve knowledge and practice. Future efforts should focus on improving what we know and what we do when measuring BP.