Training and certification of blood pressure observers

J. D. Curb, D. R. Labarthe, S. P. Cooper, G. R. Cutter, C. M. Hawkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


Accurate, reproducible measurements of blood pressure (BP) were central to the goals and objectives of the Hypertension Detection and Follow-Up Program (HDFP), a multicenter clinical trial on the efficacy of pharmacological treatment of individuals with elevated BP. All potential BP observers with or without previous experience in measuring BP were required to undergo a defined training program and meet set performance criteria to be certified to take HDFP BP. Recertification was required twice a year. Orginally an audiotape test was used to measure accuracy of BP reading. This approach was later replaced by a videotape test, which proved more realistic and an equally effective tool for long-term quality control. With this technique of certifications, 75% of the individuals taking the test passed on the first attempt and more than 95% passed with one or two attempts. Although agreement for blinded BP duplicates was generally good, the appearance of sound (systolic BP) was identified with greater reproducibility than was the disappearance (diastolic BP). These recertification procedures were of great value in assuring the continued high quality of our BP data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)610-614
Number of pages5
JournalUnknown Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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