This study was planned in the context of a regional high blood pressure programme, to compare the efficacy of two educative methods. The group of 722 hypertensive patients (58.8% women), mean age 61 years, was randomly selected from 19 primary care centres. Initial assessment was based on a patient interview including 22 questions on high blood pressure, its consequences and treatment. Patients agreeing to participate in an active education team programme were distributed into three groups: individual education, team education and a control group. Those who declined to participate formed two groups: individual education and controls. Team education consisted of two audiovisual sessions attended by groups of 8-12 patients and conducted by treating physicians and nurses. Individual education included comments related to the 22 questions. Follow-up assessment was made after two months. An increase in the level of hypertension control was observed only in the accepting group, in which educative action was followed by increased knowledge. Results were similarly favourable for both the individual and team education groups and suggested the need to consider educational factors together with those influencing patient attitude towards an active educational programme.