Interventions and contextual factors to improve retention in care for patients with hypertension in primary care: Hermeneutic systematic review

Jiancheng Ye*, Olutobi A. Sanuade, Lisa R. Hirschhorn, Theresa L. Walunas, Justin D. Smith, Michelle A. Birkett, Abigail S. Baldridge, Dike B. Ojji, Mark D. Huffman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Regular engagement over time in hypertension care, or retention, is a crucial but understudied step in optimizing patient outcomes. This systematic review leverages a hermeneutic methodology to identify, evaluate, and quantify the effects of interventions and contextual factors for improving retention for patients with hypertension. Methods: We searched for articles that were published between 2000 and 2022 from multiple electronic databases, including MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials,, and WHO International Trials Registry. We followed the latest version of the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) guideline to report the findings for this review. We also synthesized the findings using a hermeneutic methodology for systematic reviews, which used an iterative process to review, integrate, analyze, and interpret evidence. Results: From 4686 screened titles and abstracts, 18 unique studies from 9 countries were identified, including 10 (56%) randomized controlled trials (RCTs), 3 (17%) cluster RCTs, and 5 (28%) non-RCT studies. The number of participants ranged from 76 to 1562. The overall mean age range was 41–67 years, and the proportion of female participants ranged from 0% to 100%. Most (n = 17, 94%) studies used non-physician personnel to implement the proposed interventions. Fourteen studies (78%) implemented multilevel combinations of interventions. Education and training, team-based care, consultation, and Short Message Service reminders were the most common interventions tested. Conclusions: This review presents the most comprehensive findings on retention in hypertension care to date and fills the gaps in the literature, including the effectiveness of interventions, their components, and contextual factors. Adaptation of and implementing HIV care models, such differentiated service delivery, may be more effective and merit further study. Registration: CRD42021291368. Protocol registration: PROSPERO 2021 CRD42021291368. Available at:

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107880
JournalPreventive medicine
StatePublished - Mar 2024


  • Hermeneutic systematic review
  • Hypertension
  • Implementation science
  • Primary care
  • Retention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Epidemiology


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