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Efficacy of telephone and mail intervention in patient compliance with antihypertensive drugs in hypertension. ETECUM-HTA study.

Blood Press. 2005;14(3):151-8.
Contreras EM, Garcia OV, Claros NM, Guillen VG, de la Figuera von Wichmann M, Martinez JJ, Fernandez R.
Centro de Salud la Orden, Huelva, Spain.

OBJECTIVE: To study the efficacy of telephone and mail intervention in therapeutic compliance among patients with mild to moderate hypertension.

DESIGN: A prospective controlled multicenter clinical trial.

SETTING: Eighty-five primary care centers in Spain, with a duration of 6 months.

PATIENTS: A total of 636 patients with newly diagnosed or uncontrolled hypertension were included. Interventions. The patients were randomized and distributed between the following groups: (i) control (CG) - under routine clinical management; (ii) mail intervention (MIG) - received a mailed message reinforcing compliance and reminding of the visits (15 days, 2 and 4 months); (iii) telephone intervention (TIG) - received a telephone call at 15 days, then at 7 and 15 weeks.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Five visits were scheduled, with the measurement of blood pressure and counting of tablets. Compliers were defined as subjects showing 80-110% drug consumption. Calculations were made of mean percentage compliance (MPC) and compliers, mean blood pressure and percentage controlled subjects.

RESULTS: Five hundred and thirty-eight patients completed the study (261 males); 85.5% were compliers (CI = 82.5-88.5; n = 460). The MPC was 95.1+/-19.6% (CI = 93.28-96.92). The CG consisted of 182 individuals, MIG = 172 and TIG = 184. Compliers represented 69.2% of the CG (CI 62.5-75.9%), 91.3% (CI = 87.1-95.5) of the MIG (p = 0.0001) and 96.2% of the TIG (CI 93.5-98.9%); the final MPC was 89.6%+/-15 in CG, 96.6%+/-12 in MIG and 99.1+/-26.8 in TIG (p = 0.0001). The percentage of controlled subjects was 47.2% in CG (CI = 40-54.4), 61.3% in MIG (CI = 54.1-68.5%) and 63.3% in TIG (CI = 56.4-70.2%) (p<0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: TIG and MIG are effective measures for improving patient compliance in hypertension.

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