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Canadian groups help develop free online certification course for home measurement of blood pressure

New resource designed for people with hypertension and those interested in preventing it

By Lyne Cloutier, Ross Tsuyuki, Norm R. C. Campbell, & Mark Gelfer
May 13, 2024
Courtesy of Lyne Cloutier
Read the Pan American Health Organization’s resources on measuring blood pressure, including eight steps to obtaining an accurate reading at home.

This Friday, May 17, is World Hypertension Day.

Accurate reproducible blood pressure measurement is essential for the diagnosis and management of hypertension. Home blood pressure measurement is highly recommended for the diagnosis of hypertension and can be extremely useful to monitor antihypertensive therapy (Rabi et al., 2020). It provides a more accurate assessment of cardiovascular risk relative to measurements performed solely in the clinic.

Measuring blood pressure at home also engages individuals with hypertension more actively in their health management, resulting in improved adherence to pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment and more effective blood pressure lowering.

Unfortunately, inaccurate devices, a lack of standardized technique, a lack of preparation and inappropriate environments for measurement are very common and can undermine efforts to diagnose and manage hypertension (Todkar, Padwal, & Cloutier, 2021; Todkar, Padwal, Michaud, & Cloutier, 2021). One of the recommended interventions to enhance the accuracy and reproducibility of blood pressure measurement is through the development and implementation of blood pressure measurement training courses with certification (Leblanc, Cloutier, & Veiga, 2011).

Blood pressure course for individuals

Recently, a new online certification course became available: Home Blood Pressure Monitoring. Promoting Patient Self-Measurement. The course is intended for individuals with hypertension and for members of the public who want to learn more about home blood pressure measurement. The course development was led by the Pan American Health Organization’s (PAHO) HEARTS in the Americas program with the support of major global and national cardiovascular organizations and experts including Hypertension Canada and the Quebec Society of Vascular Sciences.

The course is available at PAHO’s self-learning courses web page, where more courses are available. People who take the course will be assigned a registration number, which can be used to access a unique certificate of completion.

Nurses have a continuing relationship with patients and their families and are therefore well positioned to help patients maintain long-term blood pressure control through providing education and supporting patients and families in their self-care decisions and actions. This new online course can be used as support for initial training but also to help maintain high standards for measurement.

Blood pressure course for professionals

A short online certification training course for health-care professionals to accurately measure blood pressure is also available from the HEARTS in the Americas program and international partners, including Hypertension Canada. The same sources of inaccurate blood pressure measurement plague health-care professionals as patients.

Interested individuals are encouraged to take the course, Virtual Course on Accurate Automated Blood Pressure Measurement. People who take the course will be assigned a registration number, which can be used to access a unique certificate of completion.

The certification courses are free, and regular recertification is encouraged. The courses can also serve as the basis for health-care training schools, postgraduate health-care education and clinic facilities to use or on which to develop in-person training programs. Translation and modification of the training courses are encouraged.

Acknowledgment: This article is based on an announcement of the resource in the World Hypertension League newsletter and is adapted for the Canadian Nurse online journal. It is also being adapted to pharmacists and family physicians in separate publications.


Leblanc, M.-E., Cloutier, L., & Veiga, E. V. (2011). Knowledge and practice outcomes after home blood pressure measurement education programs. Blood Pressure Monitoring, 16(6), 265–269. doi:10.1097/MBP.0b013e32834b667a

Rabi, D. M., McBrien, K. A., Sapir-Pichhadze, R., Nakhla, M., Ahmed, S. B., Dumanski, S. M., ... Daskalopoulou, S. S. (2020). Hypertension Canada’s 2020 Comprehensive Guidelines for the Prevention, Diagnosis, Risk Assessment, and Treatment of Hypertension in Adults and Children. Canadian Journal of Cardiology, 36(5), 596–624. doi:10.1016/j.cjca.2020.02.086

Todkar, S., Padwal, R., & Cloutier, L. (2021). Knowledge, perception and practice of Québec nurses for ambulatory and clinic blood pressure measurement methods: Are we there yet? Journal of Hypertension, 39(12), 2455–2462. doi:10.1097/HJH.0000000000002949

Todkar, S., Padwal, R., Michaud, A., & Cloutier, L. (2021). Knowledge, perception and practice of health professionals regarding blood pressure measurement methods: A scoping review. Journal of Hypertension, 39(3), 391–399. doi:10.1097/HJH.0000000000002663

Lyne Cloutier, RN, PhD, is a full professor in the Department of Nursing Sciences at the Université du Québec at Trois-Rivières.
Ross Tsuyuki BSc (Pharm), PharmD, MSc, FCSHP, FACC, FCAHS, ISHF is a professor in the Departments of Pharmacology and Medicine (Cardiology), Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta.
Norm R. C. Campbell, MD, is a professor emeritus at the University of Calgary and a Consultant to the HEARTS in the America’s Initiative. 
Mark Gelfer, MD, FCFP, is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia.