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Keywords:

  • antihypertensive medication;
  • health;
  • experience;
  • qualitative research

This study was undertaken to explore the experience of people taking long-term antihypertensive medication. The study contributes to the understanding health professionals have of people with high blood pressure and the antihypertensive treatments they receive. Consideration was given to the full life context of people taking long-term antihypertensive medication and the health/medical culture in which people find themselves. A qualitative method of inquiry generated the descriptive data. Nineteen participants (four men and 15 women) were interviewed once, of which 16 were interviewed a second time. Data analysis involved extraction of concepts which in turn were clustered into themes. An organizing framework was constructed to integrate the six themes and 18 sub-themes. The framework represents the individual’s experience as a sequence, starting broadly in the social context of her/his life, and narrowing down to the particulars of personal routine and patterns referring to living with hypertension and it’s medication regimens. The final theme refers to the broader context of the health culture. A vast range of experiences were described by participants taking long-term antihypertensive medication. This accentuates the necessity for health professionals to address the uniqueness of the individual, and consider the context of a person’s life when prescribing and monitoring medications for people with high blood pressure.