When ‘white coats’ are absent...


There is evidence that patients’ BPs are lower when measured by nurses but this could be because of the ‘white-coat effect’ associated with doctors. The Primary Care Research Group at the University of Exeter, UK, has investigated.

They found 15 studies in which BP had been measured by doctors and nurses at the same visit. These studies involved 3700 people, and most of the measurements were made with mercury sphygmomanometers. The systolic BP was on average 7.0mmHg lower and diastolic pressures 3.8mmHg