Hypertension is an urgent public health problem. Consistent summary from natural and quasi-experiments employed to evaluate interventions that aim at preventing or controlling hypertension is lacking in the current literature. This study aims to summarize the evidence from natural and quasi-experiments that evaluated interventions used to prevent or control hypertension.
We searched PubMed, Embase and Web of Science for natural and quasi-experiments evaluating interventions used to prevent hypertension, improve blood pressure control or reduce blood pressure levels from January 2008 to November 2018. Descriptions of studies and interventions were systematically summarized, and a meta-analysis was conducted.
Thirty studies were identified, and all used quasi-experimental designs including a difference-in-difference, a pre-post with a control group or a propensity score matching design. Education and counseling on lifestyle modifications such as promoting physical activity (PA), promoting a healthy diet and smoking cessation consultations could help prevent hypertension in healthy people. The use of computerized clinical practice guidelines by general practitioners, education and management of hypertension, the screening for cardiovascular disease (CVD) goals and referral could help improve hypertension control in patients with hypertension. The educating and counseling on PA and diet, the monitoring of patients’ metabolic factors and chronic diseases, the combination of education on lifestyles with management of hypertension, the screening for economic risk factors, medical needs, and CVD risk factors and referral all could help reduce blood pressure. In the meta-analysis, the largest reduction in blood pressure was seen for interventions which combined education, counseling and management strategies: weighted mean difference in systolic blood pressure was - 5.34 mmHg (95% confidence interval [CI], - 7.35 to - 3.33) and in diastolic blood pressure was - 3.23 mmHg (95% CI, - 5.51 to - 0.96).
Interventions that used education and counseling strategies; those that used management strategies; those that used combined education, counseling and management strategies and those that used screening and referral strategies were beneficial in preventing, controlling hypertension and reducing blood pressure levels. The combination of education, counseling and management strategies appeared to be the most beneficial intervention to reduce blood pressure levels.

© 2022. The Author(s).