SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • Orthostatic hypotension;
  • postural hypotension;
  • dizziness;
  • older people

Abstract

Purpose

To enhance awareness of orthostatic hypotension (OH) in older populations, and guide primary care nurse practitioners (NPs) in the assessment and management of patients with OH.

Data sources

Electronic data collection was conducted on studies and reviews that were published between 2005 and 2012 in English, and contained information related to the purpose of this article from following databases: PubMed, Scopus, and MEDLINE.

Conclusions

OH is a syndrome that is accompanied by unfavorable symptoms such as dizziness, and headaches and can impede the individual's daily activities and quality of life. The prevalence of OH is higher in older people because of comorbidities, polypharmacy, and physiological changes that occur with aging. OH is diagnosed with serial blood pressure measurements and the primary goal of management is to relieve unfavorable symptoms and enhance patient safety. Pharmacological management is considered when nonpharmacological interventions fail.

Implications for practice

OH is not a problem to be taken lightly as it is highly related to the risk of falling and cardiovascular problems, as well as increasing morbidity and mortality rates. NPs can contribute to improving the quality of life for older adults and reducing adverse consequences by understanding OH and adequately managing it.