Abel, W. M., Joyner, J. S., Cornelius, J. B., & Greer, D. B. (2017). Self-care management strategies used by Black women who self-report consistent adherence to antihypertensive medication. https://doi.org/doi:10.2147/PPA.S138162
Background: Black women in the USA have the highest prevalence rate of hypertension (HTN) contributing to a higher risk of organ damage and death. Research has focused primarily on poorly controlled HTN, negative belief systems, and nonadherence factors that hinder blood pressure control. No known research studies underscore predominantly Black women who report consistent adherence to their antihypertensive medication-taking. The purpose of this study was to describe self-care management strategies used by Black women who self-report consistent adherence to their antihypertensive medication and to determine the existence of further participation in lifestyle modifications, such as eating a healthy diet and increasing physical activity.
Methods: Using a qualitative descriptive design, four focus groups with a total of 20 Black women aged 25–71 years were audio-taped. Transcripts were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Participants were included in the study if they scored perfect adherence on the medication subscale of the Hill–Bone Compliance to High Blood Pressure Therapy Scale.
Results: Medication adherence was predicated on three themes: HTN experience, involvement with treatment regimen, and a strong motivated mentality. Black women would benefit from treatment approaches that are sensitive to 1) diverse emotional responses, knowledge levels, and life experiences; 2) two-way communication and trusting, collaborative relationships with active involvement in the treatment regimen; 3) lifestyle modifications that focus on health benefits and individual preferences; and 4) spiritual/religious influences on adherence.
Conclusion: The use of self-care management strategies to enhance antihypertensive medication adherence is key to adequate blood pressure control and the reduction of cardiovascular events. This study provides preliminary insight for future research to develop interventions to aid those Black women who struggle with medication adherence and are disproportionately impacted by HTN.