Barriers to optimal hypertension control

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


There is an obvious gap in the translation of clinical trial evidence into practice with regards to optimal hypertension control. The three major categories of barriers to BP control are patient-related, physician-related, and medical environment/health care system factors. Patient-related barriers include poor medication adherence, beliefs about hypertension and its treatment, depression, health literacy, comorbidity, and patient motivation. The most pertinent is medication adherence, given its centrality to the other factors. The most salient physician-related barrier is clinical inertia - defined, as the failure of health care providers to initiate or intensify drug therapy in a patient with uncontrolled BP. The major reasons for clinical inertia are: 1) overestimation of the amount of care that physicians provide; 2) lack of training on how to attain target BP levels; and 3) clinicians' use of soft reasons to avoid treatment intensification by adopting a "wait until next visit" approach in response to patients' excuses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)644-646
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Clinical Hypertension
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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