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Keywords:

  • blood pressure self-management;
  • hypertension self-management;
  • mixed methods;
  • stroke prevention

Blood pressure (BP) self-management is advocated to manage hypertension and reduce the risk of a future stroke. The purpose of this study was to identify BP self-management strategies used by individuals who had sustained a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA). As part of a mixed-methods study, we conducted six focus groups and achieved saturation with 16 stroke survivors and 12 TIA survivors. Each participant completed a questionnaire regarding current BP management. We analyzed and coded qualitative transcripts from the focus groups and found four emergent themes that were supported by questionnaire results. The four self-management themes include: (1) external support for BP self-management is helpful; (2) BP self-management strategies include medication adherence, routine development, and BP monitoring; (3) BP risk factor management involves diet, exercise, and stress reduction; and (4) taking advantage of the “teachable moment” may be advantageous for behavior change to self-manage BP. This research provides key elements for the development of a successful BP self-management program.