Hypertension is a disorder that results in abnormal high blood pressure (HBP). Despite public awareness campaigns on hypertension management, the condition is rampant among the African Americans than any other racial group in the U.S. Moreover, HBP management is poorest in African American population. Current studies do not provide interventions that are culture-congruent to this population. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to reviews previous studies, and determines non-medical interventions that are can be used to control hypertension among African Americans. Research questions are: 1) what factors can be used to control HBP? 2) How effective are non-medical interventions? A historical research design was applied to past studies comprising of two journals. The study findings revealed two key factors that can be used to manage Hypertension as social support and lifestyle coaching. Moreover, non-medical intervention proved effective as they acted as preventive measures to the occurrence of HBP.The findings from this study can be used to design interventions that meet the needs of the African American population.
Hypertension in African American Population
This study reviews previous studies to determine medical interventions that are culturally congruent to African Americans. The study will also combine responses from both health practitioners and patients to identify common medical interventions that are effective as per the two groups’ viewpoints. Thus ethnic and racial considerations will be used to determine factors that can help control hypertension in the African American population.
Hypertension is said to occur when the systolic blood pressure is 140mmHg and above, and the diastolic blood pressure is 90mmHg and above. Since 2009, the prevalence of HBP in African American, Caucasian, and Hispanic adults is 42.1%, 28%, and 26% respectively with minimal deviations in recent years (Roger et al., 2012 as cited by Timmons et al., 2017). The high hypertension level in African American population is as a result of prevalent factors faced by this population. Some of the factors include increased stress due to racial discrimination, limited social support and socioeconomic disadvantages.
Various studies have been conducted to develop strategies that can effectively manage hypertension among African Americans. The research reviewed methods applied in two previous studies. The first study was “Priority hypertensive management strategies for African Americans as perceived by clinicians and academic scholars,” a qualitative study carried out by Timmons et al. (2017). The research team applied a qualitative interpretative descriptive design. The approach enabled the research team to gain insight on the social process of HBP management. A purposive sample (n=10) was selected using the snowball sampling technique from earned doctorate degree educated clinicians and academicians. Potential participants were contacted via telephone, and subsequent emails sent to each participant explaining the purpose of the study, confidentiality level, and interview schedule. Data collection took a period of six months whereby a semi-structured interview involving four open-ended questions was used as the main data collection technique. Thereafter, thematic analysis was carried out under varying themes: social support, lifestyle coaching, and personalized medical management. The study findings revealed that interventions involving the three themes improved HBP management considerably.
The second study, “Improving heart health among black/African American women using civic engagement,” was a pilot study conducted by Brown et al. (2017) to promote fitness change by measuring adherence rates among African American women. The study used a quasi-experimental study design to determine the effectiveness of six months fitness as an intervention measure in improving the heart health of African American women. The sample size comprised of 28 respondents aged 30-70 years, randomly selected from four churches in Boston, Massachusetts. The respondents were enrolled into a “change club,” and their mean blood pressure measured before and after the six-month fitness routine. The study findings revealed significant pre-post changes in systolic blood pressure (-12.73mmHg, 95%CI-18.94, -6.51, p<0.001).
From the two studies, I concluded that antihypertensive interventions can be effective for the African American population if they are culturally tailored to fit the needs of this population. Since African Americans respond poorly to common antihypertensive treatments such as the use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-I), non-medical interventions can be used to prevent high blood pressure. Therefore, I would recommend the two studies to clinicians as they add knowledge to improve the management of hypertension among the African American population
Brown, A.G.M., Hudson, L. B., Chui, K., Metayer, N., Lebron-Torres, N., Segui, R.A. & Folta, S. C. (2017). Improving heart health among black/African American women using civic engagement: a pilot study. BioMed Central (BMC) Public Health. DOI: 10.1186/s12889-016-3964-2
Timmons, S. M., Shi, L. & Khademi, A. (2017). Priority hypertension management strategies for at-risk African Americans as perceived by medical clinicians and academic scholars. Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice, 10(1), pp.221-237. Retrieved from https://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi%3Farticle%3D1518%26content%3Djhdrp