The Particulars: Hypertension is commonly found incidentally in patients visiting the ED. Patient education interventions on high blood pressure conducted in the ED may encourage visitors to seek appropriate outpatient treatment following discharge.

Data Breakdown: For a study, 212 patients with an incidental finding of hypertension were randomized to receive a printed handout or have a face-to-face encounter that included a multimedia presentation of content identical to that which was offered in the handout. For both the test and control groups, the average number of correct answers on a BP knowledge test increased from 2 out of 5 before the intervention to 4 out of 5 after the interventions were implemented. However, 62% of patients receiving the multimedia intervention who initially were not planning to see a physician to address their BP planned to afterwards. This compared favorably to the 46% rate observed in patients involved in the handout group.

Take Home Pearl: A patient education intervention among ED visitors who incidentally were diagnosed  with hypertension appears to improve their knowledge of high BP and willingness to comply with outpatient follow-up care.

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