Improving Blood Pressure Management in Primary Care Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease: a Systematic Review of Interventions and Implementation Strategies

Celia C. Kamath*, Claudia C. Dobler, Rozalina G. McCoy, Michelle A. Lampman, Atieh Pajouhi, Patricia J. Erwin, John Matulis, Muhamad Elrashidi, Joseph Darcel, Mouaz Alsawas, Zhen Wang, Nilay D. Shah, M. Hassan Murad, Bjorg Thorsteinsdottir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)



Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is widely prevalent, associated with morbidity and mortality, but may be lessened with timely implementation of evidence-based strategies including blood pressure (BP) control. Nonetheless, an evidence-practice gap persists. We synthesize the evidence for clinician-facing interventions to improve hypertension management in CKD patients in primary care. 


Electronic databases and related publications were queried for relevant studies. We used a conceptual model to address heterogeneity of interventions. We conducted a quantitative synthesis of interventions on blood pressure (BP) outcomes and a narrative synthesis of other CKD relevant clinical outcomes. Planned subgroup analyses were performed by (1) study design (randomized controlled trials (RCTs) or nonrandomized studies (NRS)); (2) intervention type (guideline-concordant decision support, shared care, pharmacist-facing); and (3) use of behavioral/implementation theory. 


Of 2704 manuscripts screened, 73 underwent full-text review; 22 met inclusion criteria. BP target achievement was reported in 15 and systolic BP reduction in 6 studies. Among RCTs, all interventions had a significant effect on BP control, (pooled OR 1.21; 95% CI 1.07 to 1.38). Subgroup analysis by intervention type showed significant effects for guideline-concordant decision support (pooled OR 1.19; 95% CI 1.12 to 1.27) but not shared care (pooled OR 1.71; 95% CI 0.96 to 3.03) or pharmacist-facing interventions (pooled OR 1.04; 95% CI 0.82 to 1.34). Subgroup analysis finding was replicated with pooling of RCTs and NRS. The five contributing studies showed large and significant reduction in systolic BP (pooled WMD − 3.86; 95% CI − 7.2 to − 0.55). Use of a behavioral/implementation theory had no impact, while RCTs showed smaller effect sizes than NRS. 


Process-oriented implementation strategies used with guideline-concordant decision support was a promising implementation approach. Better reporting guidelines on implementation would enable more useful synthesis of the efficacy of CKD clinical interventions integrated into primary care. 

PROSPERO Registration Number: CRD42018102441.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)849-869
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of General Internal Medicine
Early online date26 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes


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