Current Blood Pressure Self-Management: A Qualitative Study

Authors

  • Arlene A. Schmid PhD OTR,

    Assistant Professor, Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Arlene A. Schmid, PhD OTR, is a core investigator at the Roudebush VAMC, HSR&D center of Excellence on Implementation of Evidence-Based Practices and the VA Stroke QUERI in Indianapolis, IN; and assistant professor at Indiana University Department of Occupational Therapy in Indianapolis, IN.

  • Teresa M. Damush PhD,

    Research Health ScientistSearch for more papers by this author
    • Teresa M. Damush, PhD, is a research health scientist at the Roudebush VAMC, HSR&D center of Excellence on Implementation of Evidence-Based Practices and the VA Stroke QUERI, in Indianapolis, IN; associate professor at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, IN.

  • Laurie Plue MS,

    Research CoordinatorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Laurie Plue, MS, is a research coordinator at the Roudebush VAMC, HSR&D center of Excellence on Implementation of Evidence-Based Practices and the V Stroke QUERI in In-A dianapolis, IN.

  • Usha Subramanian MD,

    Assistant Professor of MedicineSearch for more papers by this author
    • Usha Subramanian, MD, is an assistant professor of medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, IN.

  • Tamilyn Bakas DNS RN FAHA FAAN,

    Associate ProfessorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Tamilyn Bakas, DNS RN FAHA FAAN, is an associate professor in the Department of Adult-Health and codirector of the Center for Enhancing Quality of Life in Chronic Illness at Indiana University School of Nursing in Indianapolis, IN.

  • Linda S. Williams MD

    Acting Co-DirectorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Linda S. Williams, MD, is the acting co-director of the Roudebush VAMC, HSR&D Center of Excellence on Implementation of Evidence-Based Practices and the research coordinator of the VA Stroke QUERI in Indianapolis, IN; and associate professor at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, IN.


arlene.schmid@va.gov

Abstract

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.

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