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Research Article Open Access
Purpose: The purposes of this study were to investigate the factors related to illness representations and their influence on self-management behaviors in hypertensive patients, based on Leventhal’s common-sense model.
Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted with a convenience sample of 149 patients with hypertension. Illness representations were assessed with the Illness Perception Questionnaire-Revised (IPQ-R) and data were analyzed using t-test, ANOVA, Pearson’s correlations, and hierarchical regression analysis.
Results: There were differences in patients’ illness representations depending on their demographic and healthrelated characteristics including medication adherence and the amount of time since hypertension diagnosis. Two dimensions of illness representations, in terms of predictability (β=-0.226, p=0.036) and coherence (β=0.246, p=0.029), were significant factors predicting self-management behaviors, indicating that patients who believed hypertension was more predictable and who were more confident of their awareness about hypertension engaged more actively in selfmanagement behaviors.
Conclusion: This study demonstrates the critical role of illness representations, leading to self-management behaviors of hypertensive patients. The findings highlight that a concrete assessment of illness representations is an essential task when developing nursing interventions to facilitate active self-management of hypertension.