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J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2003 Nov;14(4):566-87.

African Americans' beliefs and attitudes regarding hypertension and its treatment: a qualitative study.

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  • 1Departments of Epidemiology & Social Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, USA.

Abstract

Since low adherence rates contribute to morbidity and mortality among hypertensive African Americans, health beliefs known to influence nonadherence must be explored. Hypertensive African Americans were recruited from an urban, public hospital and divided into two categories: adherent, well-controlled versus nonadherent, poorly controlled participants. Separate focus group sessions were held for each category. Participants proved similar with respect to sociodemographic variables but varied in the duration of hypertension. Some beliefs were mentioned more often among nonadherent participants than among adherent participants when describing medical treatments and physicians' encounters. Some participants perceived medication to be harmful and noneffective, and some expressed distrust of pharmaceutical companies and physicians, believing them to use patients for experimentation to test medications. Their descriptions of dialogues with physicians suggested authoritarian and ethnicity-inappropriate communication patterns. To reduce the nonadherence rate among African Americans, it may be necessary to integrate health beliefs into educational interventions and physician-patient communication.

PMID:
14619556
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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