Background. Nurses caring relationships with hypertensive patients can have a positive effect upon their blood pressure and may increase quality of life and prolongation of life. Hypertension affects a large number of people. It is important that those affected receive, in addition to the best available medical treatment, nursing care that best meets their needs and adds to the quality of their lives. Watson's Caring Model is one nursing approach consistent with needs of persons with hypertension, and was used in this study to guide both research and practice.
Aim. To determine the effectiveness of a nurse's caring relationship according to Watson's Caring Model on the blood pressure and the quality of life of patients with hypertension.
Methods. The design of the study was a one-group pretest and post-test. The study included 52 patients with hypertension in four health care units in Erzurum, Turkey in 2000. These patients had been diagnosed with hypertension and invited to participate in a research project involving nursing care. After acceptance, patients were given questionnaires consisting of demographic characteristics; their blood pressure was measured, and a quality of life scale was administered. Each of the participating nurse researchers was prepared in the use of Watson's Theory and Model of Caring (and the 10 Carative Factors). This training formed the basis of the caring process used by the nurse researchers who then visited the patients and their families once a week for blood pressure measurement for a 3-month period. At the end of care, the quality of life scale was applied to patients, and blood pressures were measured as the post-test.
Results. There were statistically significant differences between mean scores of general well-being ( t = 3·097, d.f. = 51, P = 0·003), physical symptoms and activity ( t = 2·994, d.f. = 51, P = 0·004), medical interaction ( t = 2·127, d.f. = 51, P = 0·035). There were also significant differences between blood pressure (systolic: t = 4·830, d.f. = 51, P = 0·000; and diastolic: t = 3·51, d.f. = 51, P = 0·001) in pre- and post-test.
Conclusion. This study demonstrated a relationship between care given according to Watson's Caring model and increased quality of life of the patients with hypertension. Further, in those patients for whom the caring model was practised, there was a relationship between the Caring model and a decrease in patient's blood pressure. The Watson Caring Model is recommended as a guide to nursing patients with hypertension, as one means of decreasing blood pressure and increase in quality of life.