Author(s): Pickett S, Allen W, Franklin M, Peters RM
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Abstract Guided by Leventhal's common sense model of illness representations, this study examined the relationship between hypertension beliefs and self-care behaviors necessary for blood pressure (BP) control in a sample of 111 community-dwelling African Americans with hypertension. Participants completed the revised Illness Perception Questionnaire, BP Self-Care Scale, and a demographic data sheet, and had BP measured. Analyses revealed that beliefs about the causes of hypertension differed by gender and educational level. Stress-related causal attributions accounted for 34.7\% of the variance in hypertension beliefs. Participants who believed stress or external factors caused hypertension were less likely to engage in healthy self-care behaviors (e.g., keeping doctor visits, eating low-salt, low-fat diets). Results suggest that patients who are nonadherent with hypertension self-care recommendations may hold hypertension beliefs that are not consistent with the medically endorsed views of this disease. To more effectively treat and control BP, providers should assess patients' hypertension beliefs.
This article was published in West J Nurs Res
and referenced in Journal of Nursing & Care