Condition category
Pregnancy and Childbirth
Date applied
Date assigned
Last edited
Retrospectively registered
Overall trial status
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
Pre-eclampsia is a condition which affects pregnant women, and can put both mother and baby at risk. The warning signs of pre-eclampsia include high blood pressure and protein in the urine. Around 10-15% of women develop high blood pressure during pregnancy. If not treated, pre-eclampsia can lead to seizures, kidney and blood clotting problems in the mother. For babies, it can lead to low birth weight and an increased risk of dying before birth. Treatment is usually in the form of blood pressure lowering drugs. Around 5% of women have chronic hypertension (long-term high blood pressure) before they become pregnant. This puts them at a higher risk of developing pre-eclampsia than those without chronic high blood pressure. Because of this, their blood pressure needs to be closely monitored and managed via more frequent antenatal clinic visits. Despite more frequent monitoring however, women's blood pressure can rise between these visits, putting mother and baby at risk. One possible solution to this problem is for the women to keep track of their blood pressure at home (self-monitoring). This could help to identify rising blood pressure sooner, so that it can be brought to the attention of their care team. This could lead to earlier diagnosis and treatment to prevent complications developing. Care teams would be able to use the more frequent blood pressure readings to make better and timelier treatment decisions. For example, by raising or lowering blood pressure medication as needed. This could lead to improved health outcomes for mothers and their babies, and may prove to be a cost-effective way to improve their care. The aim of this study is to conduct a small study looking at whether it is acceptable to pregnant women with high blood pressure to monitor their blood pressure at home, and to work out whether it is feasible to conduct a larger scale study.

Who can participate?
Pregnant women with long-term high blood pressure.

What does the study involve?
Participants are randomly allocated to one of two groups. Those in the first group receive standard care alone, which involves attending antenatal clinic visits to have their blood pressure measured. Those in the second group also receive standard care as well as monitoring their blood pressure at home. The women are taught how to use a home blood pressure monitor and asked to measure it every day and record the results in a diary. They are also given advice about any action they should take if their blood pressure becomes too high or too low. Participants in both groups attend routine clinical visits at 20, 28, and 34 weeks pregnancy, and 6 weeks after they have had their baby. At these visits, blood pressure measurements are taken and questionnaires about quality of life and medication use are completed. Women who have been monitoring their blood pressure also provide their self-monitoring results at these visits.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
There are no direct benefits to participants taking part in this study, although the study will provide information about how blood pressure self-monitoring could help improve the health of women with chronic high blood pressure in pregnancy. This could lead to fewer complications during pregnancy, protecting the health of both mother and baby. All women in the study will receive at least usual care, so there is no risk from missing out on any standard clinical care. No direct risks for those women self-monitoring blood pressure at home are expected as measuring blood pressure is a safe procedure. Women will be counselled how to correctly measure their blood pressure using the provided monitors and when and how to contact clinical teams if they have low or high blood pressure readings. It is possible that blood pressure self-monitoring may increase anxiety in participants but previous work by the study team in the pregnant population has found this to be very uncommon.

Where is the study run from?
1. The Women's Centre, John Radcliffe Hospital (UK)
2. St Thomas' Hospital Maternity Services (UK)
3. New Cross Hospital Maternity Services (UK)

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
April 2015 to October 2018

Who is funding the study?
National Institute for Health Research (UK)

Who is the main contact?
Dr Louise Pealing

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Dr Louise Pealing


Contact details

Nuffield Department of Primary Care
University of Oxford
Radcliffe Primary Care Building
Radcliffe Observatory Quarter
Woodstock Road
United Kingdom
+44 1865 617852

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number number

Protocol/serial number


Study information

Scientific title

Blood pressure self­monitoring for the management of women during pregnancy with chronic hypertension: a feasibility study



Study hypothesis

The aim of this study is to:
1. Assess the feasibility and acceptability of pregnant women with chronic hypertension monitoring their own blood pressure
2. Identify the most appropriate ‘outcome measures’ for blood pressure control to use in a larger trial

Ethics approval

East Midlands – Nottingham 2 Research Ethics Committee, 28/10/2015, ref: 15/EM/0490

Study design

Randomised; Interventional; Design type: Diagnosis, Complex Intervention, Management of Care, Active Monitoring

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Randomised controlled trial

Trial setting


Trial type


Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use the contact details below to request a patient information sheet


Specialty: Reproductive health and childbirth, Primary sub-specialty: Reproductive health and childbirth (migration)


Pregnant women with chronic hypertension will be randomised 2:1 intervention to usual care using a secure web-based system, with allocation stratified for study site.

Control group: Participants receive usual antinatal care alone.

Intervention group: Participants receive usual antenatal care and blood pressure self-monitoring at home in the management of chronic hypertension during pregnancy. This involves women being asked to measure their own blood pressure once per day at the same time each day, taking two readings, using an automated blood pressure machine (microlife WatchBP home) validated for use in pregnancy and pre-eclampsia. They will be asked to measure their own blood pressure from time of enrolment until delivery. If women are admitted to hospital during their pregnancy they are asked to continue to monitor their own blood pressure if they are able and this is acceptable to them. Women will be asked to record these blood pressure readings in a diary and bring them to their antenatal consultations so that their clinical team can use them in making treatment decisions. Women will be given a protocol to follow advising how and when to contact for clinical advice in the event of recording any high or low blood pressure readings.

Participants in both groups attend antenatal visits at 20, 28 and 34 weeks gestation and 6 weeks postnatal for blood pressure monitoring and completion of questionnaires.

Intervention type



Drug names

Primary outcome measures

1. Recruitment rate is determined at the end of the study period by recording the number of participants recruited per site per month, including as proportion of those who were approached and eligible
2. Loss to follow up is determined at the end of the study period by recording the number lost to follow-up after delivery/number of participants recruited
3. Withdrawal rate is determined at the end of the study period by recording the number of participants withdrawing consent/number of participants recruited
4. Adherence and persistence with BP self-monitoring protocol is determined as the proportion of intervention participants completing no home BP measurements (total and by week) at the end of the study period
5. Acceptability of randomisation is determined at the end of the study period by recoridng the proportion of participants citing randomisation as reason for non-participation and the proportion in usual care arm starting home BP monitoring post-randomisation

Secondary outcome measures

Not provided at time of registration

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned


Participant inclusion criteria

1. Women with chronic hypertension (defined as sustained diastolic BP≥90 mmHg and/or systolic BP≥140 mmHg, present at booking or before 20 weeks gestation, or receiving treatment outside pregnancy and/or at time of referral)
2. Recruited at booking­ 23+6 weeks gestation
3. Viable singleton pregnancy
4. Willing to be randomised
5. Able to give informed written consent
6. Aged 18 years and over

Participant type


Age group




Target number of participants

Planned Sample Size: 60; UK Sample Size: 60

Participant exclusion criteria

1. Unwilling to self­monitor
2. Insufficient understanding of the study
3. Confirmed super­imposed pre­eclampsia (as defined by the International Society for the Study of Hypertension in Pregnancy (ISSHP) 2014 statement) before recruitment

Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment

United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

John Radcliffe Hospital
The Women's Centre Headington
United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

St Thomas' Hospital Maternity Services
Westminster Bridge Road
United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

New Cross Hospital Maternity Services
Wolverhampton Road
WV10 0QP
United Kingdom

Sponsor information


University of Oxford Clinical Trials and Research Governance Team

Sponsor details

Joint Research Office
Block 60
Churchill Hospital
Old Road
United Kingdom

Sponsor type

Hospital/treatment centre



Funder type


Funder name

National Institute for Health Research

Alternative name(s)


Funding Body Type

government organisation

Funding Body Subtype

Federal/National Government


United Kingdom

Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Planned publication of publish results from both the quantitative and qualitative analysis of this trial in peer-reviewed journals at the end of the trial at the end of 2018. Public dissemination of the results will also occur through the relevant on-line information sites such as womens’ health and pregnancy charities.

Intention to publish date


Participant level data

Available on request

Results - basic reporting

Publication summary

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes