E-counselling can significantly lower blood pressure, according to the results of a Canadian study
Study links e-counselling with lower blood pressure
E-counselling can significantly lower blood pressure, according to the results of a Canadian study.
The study investigated whether e-counselling contributes to improvement in blood pressure control over at least one year and whether it helps to maintain improved quality of life as well as survival among people with high blood pressure.
Researcher Dr Robert Nolan, of the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and his team evaluated a Heart and Stroke Foundation personalised action plan and email support programme to help people control their blood pressure and maintain a healthy lifestyle. The researchers found that e-counselling motivates people to stay on track with diet and exercise plans, which leads to lower blood pressure.
Dr Nolan said: ‘We found that it led to an almost double decrease in the blood pressure levels of participants compared to those who did not receive the e-counselling.’ The moods of people with high blood pressure also improved while they were participating in the e-counselling programme, he revealed.
The study evaluated 38 people, aged from 45 to 74, over a four-month period. All had been diagnosed with high blood pressure. One group were sent a standard e-newsletter from the Heart and Stroke Foundation, containing heart health information and general tips on managing their health. The second group received eight emails over four months providing educational information and tailored motivational messages and suggestions to help them achieve their goals.
Study participants who received the emails recorded approximately double the amount of decrease in blood pressure, compared to subjects who received just the newsletter, Dr Nolan reported. ‘We found the e-counselling was associated with an improvement in both exercise and diet behaviour. The motivational component was therapeutic,’ he said.
The team is now exploring the benefits of e-counselling with a larger and longer-term clinical trial.