Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring (ABPM)


Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring (ABPM) is a way of monitoring your blood pressure as you move around doing the normal things you do in daily life, usually over 24 hours. It gives information about how the changes in your blood pressure may correspond with your daily activities and sleep patterns to give a complete picture. ABPM can minimise the problem of your blood pressure rising when being measured in your doctor’s rooms.


ABPM is used in helping to predict the risk of cardiovascular disease (heart attack or stroke). It can additionally be used to assess how effective a particular medication is in controlling high blood pressure, otherwise known as hypertension.

Having a monitor fitted is straightforward. Follow our step-by-step guide below to know what to expect. Alternatively, you can download our blood pressure patient brochure here.

Please note: if you experience any of the following symptoms whilst the monitor is being worn, please contact your GP or relevant health care professional:

  • Dizziness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Chest pain
  • Extra beats
  • Shortness of breath
  • If you faint
  • Develop a rash or redness on skin

Do not wait until your removal appointment if you experience pain, discomfort or have any concerns regarding your health.

ABPM FAQs, help and troubleshooting

A guide to your ABPM

Step 1: When to see your doctor

If your doctor thinks it would be helpful for you to have your blood pressure monitored over a 24-hour period, they will give you a request form to bring to us. SNP accepts request forms from all pathology companies.

This is a good time to ask any questions you may have about your blood pressure.

Step 2: Booking your appointment

Next, you will need to book an appointment at one of our collection centres to have a monitor fitted. ABP monitoring is offered at more than 100 collection centres across Queensland, northern NSW and the Northern Territory. 

Appointments are booked directly with each of our ABPM collection centres.

Appointments for ABP monitor fittings are essential and are booked directly our ABPM collection centres. 

By clicking the button at the bottom of this page, you will be able to locate your closest collection centre and their contact details.

The person who fits your monitor has special training and booking ensures someone will be available. Appointments are usually scheduled between Monday and Thursday with removal taking place the following day. A few of our centres have the capacity to fit an ABP monitor on Friday and remove it on Saturday morning, however, this service is limited.

We understand that life is busy and our patients have many commitments and we will do our best to accommodate your needs as much as possible.

When you phone to make a booking please discuss your specific requirements with the SNP staff member. They will also be able to discuss costs with you.

All patients (excluding Veteran Affairs Gold Card holders) will be required to pay a fee at the time of the device fitting.

A concession rate is available for Veteran Affairs White Card holders and patients with a current Pensioner Concession Card or Health Care Card, as well as patients who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

A Medicare rebate may be available to you. Check with your referring doctor who will be able to assess your eligibility for this rebate.

Step 3: Preparing to have your monitor fitted

There are a few important steps you must take before coming to your appointment.

Your ABP monitor must not get wet, which means you will not be able to have a shower, bath, or go swimming until it is removed after the 24-hour monitoring period.

To best prepare for your test, please:

  • Shower before coming to your appointment to have the monitor fitted.
  • Wear loose, two-piece clothing with short sleeves if possible to make it easier for the monitor to be fitted and removed.
  • Bring a list of any medications you are taking.

Step 4: Having your monitor fitted

You will be fitted with a small, lightweight, portable monitor by one of our trained pathology collectors.

The person fitting your monitor will start by taking your height, weight, and some resting blood pressure measurements. 

To make sure you’re comfortable and that we have the most accurate readings, your arm will be measured for the most suitable size cuff.

The blood pressure cuff will be fitted to your arm and the monitor will be placed in a pouch that rests at your waist with a cross-over strap to keep it in place.

Your collector will explain what to expect and how to use the monitor. If there’s anything you are unsure about or do not understand, be sure to ask.   

Allow up to 40 minutes for the fitting and to ensure the monitor is working correctly before you leave the centre.

Before leaving the centre, the collector will let you know what time you need to return the next day to have the monitor removed.

Step 5: Wearing the monitor

Your monitor is programmed to measure your blood pressure at regular intervals throughout the day and overnight.

Please note: if you experience any of the following symptoms whilst the monitor is being worn, please contact your GP or relevant health care professional:

  • Dizziness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Chest pain
  • Extra beats
  • Shortness of breath
  • If you faint
  • Develop a rash or redness on skin

Do not wait until your removal appointment if you experience pain, discomfort or have any concerns regarding your health.

The cuff will inflate for a blood pressure reading every 30 minutes (on the half hour) during the day and every hour (on the hour) overnight. 

Depending on the type of monitor you are wearing, it may beep as a warning just before it takes a reading. When you hear this beep or feel the cuff start to inflate, it’s important you keep your arm straight and as still as possible, providing it is safe to do so. This helps the monitor take an accurate measurement and reduces the chances of an error. Errors can happen for different reasons but are common if your arm is moving or is in the wrong position during a reading. If there are too many errors your doctor may want you to repeat the test.

Keep your patient diary handy so you can record details about your day including activities, blood pressure medication use, sleep times, and any symptoms you have.

If you have any questions or concerns during the monitoring period it is important you contact us as soon as possible so we can resolve the problem for you. You can:

  • Phone the collection centre where you had the monitor fitted (contact details can be found on the front of your patient diary or on our website)
  • Contact the Cardiology Department on (07) 3377 8753 (Mon – Fri, 7:30am – 4:30pm AEST)
  • Use our troubleshooting information by clicking here.

If you experience pain or tingling in your arm, notice bruising or have any other concerns and are unable to contact us, please remove the cuff from your arm and seek medical attention if required.

If you become unwell during the monitoring period or have concerns regarding your health, please seek medical assistance from your doctor or hospital.

Step 6: Having the monitor removed

When you return the following day we will remove your monitor.

Allow 10-15 minutes for this. Be sure to bring your patient diary. This is very important in providing all the information needed for your diagnosis.

Be sure to return to the same centre where you had the monitor fitted at the time the collector advised.

Allow 10-15 minutes for this. Be sure to bring your patient diary. This is very important in providing all the information needed for your diagnosis.

It is important you return the monitor on time so appointments for other patients can continue as scheduled. 

If you are running late or are unable to return your ABP monitor to the collection centre as planned, please contact the Collection Centre or our Cardiology Department as soon as possible. Contact details can be found on the front of your Patient Diary.

Step 7: Reporting

Your monitor will gather a wealth of data about your blood pressure.

This is uploaded and analysed with a detailed report generated for your doctor. The report is typically issued within 1-2 working days and sent by secure electronic transmission. Paper copies are issued on request.

Your report is typically issued within 1-2 working days and sent by secure electronic transmission. Paper copies are issued on request.

The report that is sent to your doctor contains a summary of your blood pressure readings along with graphs and a table. Your doctor also receives a copy of your Patient Diary. Together they show what happens to your blood pressure at different times of the day and night, and how various activities influence your blood pressure.

Be sure to ask your doctor any questions you have about your blood pressure report. You play an important role in making sure your diagnosis is correct. Make sure you tell them everything you think might help and do everything you can to ensure the information you provide is accurate.

Example ABPM reports

For an example of an ABPM report, click on the image of the monitor that you are wearing below:

Step 8: Seeing your doctor about your results

Allow several working days after having your monitor removed before seeing your doctor to ensure they have received your results.

For example ABPM reports, see Step 7 'More information on reporting'.

FAQs, help and troubleshooting

The monitor and cuff you wear are checked and serviced regularly and the collector who fits them will make sure they are working correctly before you leave the centre. Occasionally, problems may still occur.


Click here for FAQs, help and troubleshooting