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Unmet needs in the measurement of blood pressure in primary care
  1. S Zaheer1,2,
  2. L Watson1,3,
  3. N J A Webb1
  1. 1Department of Paediatric Nephrology and NIHR/Wellcome Trust Children's Clinical Research Facility, The University of Manchester, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Manchester, UK
  2. 2University of Manchester Medical School, Manchester, UK
  3. 3Institute of Child Health, Alder Hey Children's Hospital, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Nicholas J A Webb, Department of Paediatric Nephrology, Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9WL, UK; nicholas.webb{at}


Background Blood pressure (BP) monitoring in UK children at risk of hypertension takes place predominantly in secondary and tertiary care.

Objectives To investigate (i) the availability of paediatric BP equipment in primary care (PC) and (ii) the confidence of PC professionals in measuring and interpreting children's BP.

Methods 103 PC practices were approached to complete a questionnaire. BP equipment availability and confidence with BP measurement and interpretation were recorded (interval scale 1–10). Cuff size and equipment type were documented.

Results 95 (92%) practices responded; 40/95 possessed paediatric BP cuffs. 35/51 devices were validated for paediatric use. Median (IQR) confidence in BP measurement was 7 (2–8). Confidence in BP interpretation was 3 (2–6), though this improved if normal ranges were provided (8 (6–9), p<0.01).

Conclusions Investment in appropriate equipment and education is required to allow PC to successfully monitor BP in children.

  • Blood pressure
  • Paediatrics
  • Primary care
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