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Telecommunication to help patients with chronic kidney disease manage blood pressure should be personalized, interactive and provide a mix of services

Luo L, Ye M, Tan J, et al. Telehealth for the management of blood pressure in patients with chronic kidney disease: A systematic review Journal of telemedicine and telecare. 2017;0(0):1-13.

Review Question

        Are telecommunication technologies effective for managing blood pressure in patients with chronic kidney disease?


        Managing blood pressure is beneficial for patients with chronic kidney disease, however, it is difficult for healthcare professionals to influence health behaviours in limited interaction time with the patients.

        Currently, telecommunication technologies are used to manage blood pressure through telephone consults, electronic blood-pressure-monitoring programs, and reminders sent by text message.

        Given the potential benefits of using telecommunication technologies for managing blood pressure, it is also a promising solution for patients with chronic kidney disease, however the effectiveness of these technologies is unclear.

How the review was done

        A detailed search of a number of electronic databases for studies published from 1950 up to and including 2017 was conducted. Studies that focused on adults with chronic kidney disease who used telecommunication technology were included in the review.

        A total of 933 studies were identified in searches, and five were included in the review after assessments for eligibility.

        This review was funded by the Guangzhou Sci-tech Programme, Guangdong Provincial Department of Science and Technology, and the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

What the researchers found

        The review found limited research to confirm that there were improvements in blood pressure when patients with chronic kidney disease were supported with telecommunication technologies.

        Despite limited evidence related to blood-pressure improvements, the researchers found that telecommunication technologies need to fulfil functions similar to those provided by a mix of health professionals such as practitioners, nurses, nutritionists and psychologists.

        The review findings also suggest that telecommunication technologies should be personalized for patient needs and allow user interactivity.


        While the results are inconclusive about whether improvements in blood-pressure measures can be achieved when using telecommunication technologies for patients with chronic kidney disease, researchers found that ideal telecommunications technologies should fulfil the functions of a mix of health professionals, be personalized for patient needs, and allow patient interactivity.

Related Web Resources

  • Kidney Failure: What Type of Dialysis Should I Have?

    This patient decision aid helps individuals with kidney failure considering dialysis methods decide on whether to have hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis by comparing the benefits, risks, and side effects of both options.
  • Kidney Failure: When Should I Start Dialysis?

    This patient decision aid helps people decide when to start either hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis. It outlines options such as starting before or waiting until either after having symptoms or your lab results get worse by comparing the benefits, risks and side effects of both options.
  • Screening for chronic kidney disease: Consumer fact sheet

    U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF)
    Older age, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and a family history put you at higher risk for kidney disease. There is not enough evidence to weigh the benefits and harms of screening for kidney disease among adults who don't have diabetes, high blood pressure or symptoms of kidney disease.
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