Hypertension in Dementia
Hypertension in Dementia Feasibility Study
Blood pressure medication has beneficial effects (it reduces the risk for stroke, heart attacks and other cardiovascular events – although this has never been established for people with dementia) as well as harmful effects (it can increase the risk of falls and side effects due to taking many medications).
In addition, the study will explore if a larger clinical trial to assess benefits and harms of medication against high blood pressure in people with dementia is possible.
We caught up with Chief Investigator Dr Veronika van der Wardt to find out more.
What does the study involve?
The study takes place in participants’ homes. At the beginning and the end of the study there will be two longer visits during which we will ask questions regarding the participant’s health, well-being and memory and take a blood sample. Then the GP will slowly reduce the medication against high blood pressure. The research nurse will visit the participant weekly for as long as the blood pressure medication is withdrawn and then monthly to check the blood pressure. These visits take about 15 minutes.
The study will take about six months and we will come to visit the participant every week for up to eight weeks (depending on the number and type of their blood pressure medication) and then monthly to monitor the blood pressure. We inform the GP of the monitoring results after every visit. If the blood pressure is higher than normal, the research nurse will liaise with the GP, and the GP is likely to re-start the blood pressure medication.
Will the participant then be withdrawn from the study?
They won’t be withdrawn from the study. They will be withdrawn from the withdrawal programme, but they will remain in the study, because part of the study is finding out if the assessments are all acceptable to the participants.
What else does the study involve?
In addition, we will also ask the participant and the carer to participate in a short interview study to assess if they are comfortable with supporting this study. Furthermore, we will give the participant a home blood pressure monitor and ask him or her to monitor and record their blood pressure twice a day with the help of their carer. We ask the participant to complete the home monitoring for one week to see if they are happy to do that.
How did Join Dementia Research support the study?
Following slow recruitment from GP practices, we included Join Dementia Research in our recruitment strategy, which makes recruitment much easier. You can select the potential participants based on a wide range of criteria and the system will show you who would be eligible for your study. You can also choose the region you want to recruit from. It can make the recruitment process much quicker and will hopefully be a great success in the East Midlands where I do my research.
Is the Hypertension in Dementia feasibility study still recruiting?
Our recruitment finishes at the end of June, so we are now completing the last baseline assessments. The study has now been taken off the Join Dementia Research website but we will definitely use the system again for our future studies.
For more information about the Hypertension in Dementia programme please check out the video.