Experts at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have received almost £250K of funding from the National  Institute  for Health  Research to study how people with raised blood-pressure may be able to monitor their own blood pressure to become more aware and  potentially prevent serious heart conditions .

The internationally renowned stroke research team at the UCLan School of Nursing in the Faculty of Health and Care will be undertaking a 30-month project to complete a feasibility study involving 90 people enrolled through GP practices, pharmacies and private workplace healthcare provider Blue HealthCare.

The individuals drawn from a range of demographics will use a home blood pressure monitor to assess how it increases preventive awareness of raised blood pressure and other associated issues such as diet and physical activity.

Dr Emma Bray, senior research fellow at the UCLan School of Nursing, said: “Evidence shows that people with blood pressure in the pre-hypertensive range are at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

“There is plenty of scope to intervene to prevent the development of hypertension and cardiovascular disease. However, there is very little research focusing on pre-hypertension in the UK, how best to identify relevant people, and how best to manage their risk.

“This feasibility project aims to determine whether studying pre-hypertension is acceptable to patients and healthcare providers, and whether using self-monitoring of blood pressure as a preventive intervention is feasible.

“There is plenty of evidence to suggest that self-monitoring of blood pressure works, but little on its role in pre-hypertension.”

The project, due to start in January next year, will ask the individuals taking part to take their own blood pressure over three consecutive days each month and will conclude with various reports, presentations and research papers with recommendations.

Funding was secured through the National Institute for Health Research – Research for Patient  Benefit. The host organisation is Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.