Positive affirmation helps patients with hypertension

(Nurse.com) — Positive affirmation along with patient education appears to help African-American patients with hypertension more effectively follow their medication regimen, according to a study.

Hypertension disproportionately affects African Americans compared to whites, and poorly adhering to a medication regimen can explain poor blood pressure control, which can lead to cardiovascular problems and death, the authors wrote as background information in the study, which appeared Jan. 23 on the website of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The randomized controlled trial by Gbenga O. Ogedegbe, MD, of the Center for Healthful Behavior Change at the New York University School of Medicine, and colleagues studied 256 hypertensive African-Americans to evaluate whether patient education (PE) plus positive-affect induction and self-affirmation (PA), such as receiving unexpected little gifts and incorporating positive thoughts, was more effective than PE alone in improving medication adherence.

The authors wrote that “based on the intention-to-treat principle, medication adherence at 12 months was higher in the PA group than in the PE group,” 42% versus 36%. However, the authors noted that within each group, the reduction in systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure was not significant.

Patients in both groups received a culturally tailored hypertension self-management workbook, a behavioral contract and bimonthly telephone calls to help them overcome barriers to taking their medicine. Patients in the PA group were given an extra chapter in their workbook that addressed the benefits of positive moments in overcoming obstacles to medication adherence.


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