Intended for healthcare professionals

Endgames Statistical Question

Meta-analyses VII

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 23 February 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d1108
  1. Philip Sedgwick, senior lecturer in medical statistics
  1. 1Section of Medical and Healthcare Education, St George’s, University of London, Tooting, London, UK
  1. p.sedgwick{at}

Researchers undertook a meta-analysis of the effects of monitoring blood pressure at home.1 Randomised controlled trials were included if participants had essential hypertension and were attempting to achieve blood pressure targets. Home blood pressure monitoring was achieved with ambulatory monitors, whereas the control intervention was standard blood pressure monitoring in the healthcare system. An extensive search of electronic databases of reports and journal publications identified 13 randomised controlled trials. For these trials, the length of intervention varied between 2 and 36 months.

The meta-analysis reported that home blood pressure monitoring resulted in lower systolic blood pressure than standard monitoring, with an overall mean difference of 4.2 mm Hg (95% confidence interval 1.5 to 6.9). Potential …

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