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BACKGROUND: Clinical decision support systems (CDSS) are low-cost, scalable tools with the potential to improve guideline-based antihypertensive treatment in primary care, but their effectiveness needs to be tested, especially in low- and middle-income countries such as China. METHODS: The Learning Implementation of Guideline-based decision support system for Hypertension Treatment (LIGHT) trial is a pragmatic, four-stage, cluster-randomized trial conducted in 94 primary care sites in China. For each city-based stage, sites are randomly assigned to either implementation of the CDSS for hypertension management (which guides doctors' treatment recommendations based on measured blood pressure and patient characteristics), or usual care. Patients are enrolled during the first 3 months after site randomization and followed for 9 months. The primary outcome is the proportion of hypertension management visits at which guideline-based treatment is provided. In a nested trial conducted within the CDSS, with the patient as the unit of randomization, the LIGHT-ACD trial, patients are randomized to receive different initial mono- or dual-antihypertensive therapy. The primary outcome of the LIGHT-ACD trial is the changes in blood pressure. DISCUSSION: The LIGHT trial will provide evidence on the effectiveness of a CDSS for improving guideline adherence for hypertension management in primary care in China. The nested trial, the LIGHT-ACD trial, will provide data on the effect of different initial antihypertensive regimens for blood pressure management in this setting. TRIAL REGISTRATION:, identifier: LIGHT (NCT03636334) and LIGHT-ACD (NCT03587103). Registered on 3 July 2018.

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Clinical decision support system, Hypertension, Pragmatic trial, Antihypertensive Agents, Blood Pressure, Decision Support Systems, Clinical, Humans, Hypertension, Primary Health Care, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic