Background: Hypertension remains the top global cause of disease burden. Decision support systems (DSS) could provide an adequate and cost-effective means to improve the management of hypertension at a primary health care (PHC) level in a developing country, nevertheless evidence on this regard is rather limited. Methods: Development of DSS software was based on an algorithmic approach for (a) evaluation of a hypertensive patient, (b) risk stratification (c) drug management and (d) lifestyle interventions, based on Indian guidelines for hypertension II (2007). The beta testing of DSS software involved a feedback from the end users of the system on the contents of the user interface. Software validation and piloting was done in field, wherein the virtual recommendations and advice given by the DSS were compared with two independent experts (government doctors from the non-participating PHC centers). Results: The overall percent agreement between the DSS and independent experts among 60 hypertensives on drug management was 85% (95% CI: 83.61 - 85.25). The kappa statistic for overall agreement for drug management was 0.659 (95% CI: 0.457 - 0.862) indicating a substantial degree of agreement beyond chance at an alpha fixed at 0.05 with 80% power. Receiver operator curve (ROC) showed a good accuracy for the DSS, wherein, the area under curve (AUC) was 0.848 (95% CI: 0.741 - 0.948). Sensitivity and specificity of the DSS were 83.33 and 85.71% respectively when compared with independent experts. Conclusion: A point of care, pilot tested and validated DSS for management of hypertension has been developed in a resource constrained low and middle income setting and could contribute to improved management of hypertension at a primary health care level.

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Journal PLoS ONE
Anchala, R, di Angelantonio, E, Prabhakaran, D, & Franco, O.H. (2013). Development and validation of a clinical and computerised Decision Support System for Management of Hypertension (DSS-HTN) at a Primary Health Care (PHC) setting. PLoS ONE, 8(11). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0079638