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Accuracy of non-invasive blood pressure measurements in obese patients

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abigail Arnold, Amanda McNaughton

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-40
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Nursing
Issue number1
Published11 Jan 2018

King's Authors


This article describes an evidence-based literature review, comparing upper arm and forearm blood pressure measurements using non-invasive devices on obese patients. The focus on blood pressure monitoring was in response to regularly witnessing inappropriately applied blood pressure cuffs on obese patient's upper arms in practice. An inaccurately obtained blood pressure measurement can result in the misdiagnosis and treatment of hypertension. As the prevalence of obesity grows worldwide, healthcare settings need to ensure they have the necessary equipment and trained staff to accurately measure obese patients' blood pressure. The aim of this review was to identify whether a forearm measurement provided a suitable alternative to upper arm measurements. The article discusses the development and execution of a search strategy, as well as the critical appraisal of a selected article. The results of the review demonstrated that forearm blood pressure measurements in obese patients do not replace upper arm blood pressure measurements taken with an appropriate cuff. It is recommended that further research is undertaken in order to identify suitable alternatives for obtaining an accurate non-invasive blood pressure measurement in obese patients..

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