This research seeks to develop a culturally-acceptable, effective, and sustainable way of utilizing the rapidly growing penetration of mobile phones among people in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), to improve the currently poor control of hypertension among patients at high risk for future stroke. It also aims to develop human capital in SSA to conduct locally-relevant, high-quality stroke research in the future. Specifically, this study will preliminarily test a strategy that incorporates mobile phone texting and home blood pressure monitoring directed by trained nurses, to improve patient adherence to proven medical therapies for treating hypertension.
Uncoordinated care and shortage of physicians limit the capacity of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) to implement effective and sustainable control of hypertension in routine clinical practice. Of the various cardiovascular disease entities, none is more strongly linked to hypertension than stroke. Recent estimates indicate that death from stroke in low-income and middle-income countries (LMIC) account for roughly 4 out of 5 stroke-related deaths worldwide, and the disability adjusted life years lost in these countries is almost seven times those lost in high-income countries (HIC). Most of these LIMC are in SSA. Moreover, given the transition from primarily infectious conditions to chronic non-communicable diseases, the burden of stroke in SSA is likely to increase substantially over the next several decades. Fortunately, with proper control of hypertension, the incidence of and mortality from stroke can be greatly reduced, as has been recently witnessed in several HIC. Despite its immense burden of stroke, SSA has the lowest density of neurologists worldwide, a situation exacerbated by the migration of providers and researchers to industrialized countries. Thus, an urgent priority in SSA is to develop human capital in the region to investigate and enhance stroke outcomes by partnering with established researchers. The theoretically-based Phone-based Intervention under Nurse Guidance after Stroke (PINGS) intervention will comprise protocol-driven mHealth technology (remote home blood pressure monitoring and mobile phone texting) under the guidance of nurse navigators, among patients with hypertension who have experienced a recent stroke (within one month of symptom onset) in Kumasi, Ghana. In Phase 1, the investigators will conduct a 3-month feasibility randomized trial with 6-month follow-up among 60 stroke patients with uncontrolled hypertension, randomly assigned to standard care or PINGS. The investigators will assess key methodological parameters, consumer responses, and clinical outcomes including recruitment and retention rates, intervention use, patient/provider satisfaction, real time medication adherence rates, medication possession ratios, and post-discharge clinic blood pressure levels. In Phase 2, the investigators will triangulate data from Phase 1 to further refine and optimize PINGS and prepare for a full-scale future efficacy/ effectiveness randomized clinical trial. Throughout PINGS, researchers in the United States will mentor their co-investigators in Ghana and impart knowledge about developing mHealth research capacity. Successful completion of PINGS will lead to a cadre of investigators in Ghana knowledgeable about clinical research methodology, and experienced in the execution of innovative, contextualized research targeted at stroke.
- Smart-phone based technology Behavioral
ARM 1: Kind: Experimental Label: Behavioral Description: Nurse-directed mobile health technology using smart phones to promote adherence to antihypertensive medication.
- Allocation: Randomized
- Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor)
- Purpose: Health Services Research
- Endpoint: Safety/Efficacy Study
- Intervention: Parallel Assignment
|Type||Measure||Time Frame||Safety Issue|
|Primary||Recruitment rates||9 months||No|
|Primary||Patient Satisfaction Scales||9 months||No|
|Primary||Clinic based Blood Pressure||9 months||No|
|Primary||Retention rates||9 months||No|
|Secondary||Med Possession Ratio||9 months||No|
|Secondary||Morisky Med Adherence Scale||9 months||No|
|Secondary||Provider Satisfaction Scales||9 months||No|