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Appl Nurs Res. 2006 Feb;19(1):16-21.

Adding story-centered care to standard lifestyle intervention for people with Stage 1 hypertension.

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Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL 33431, USA.


This study examined the blood pressure (BP)-lowering effect of adding story-centered care (i.e., carefully attending to another's narrative) to standard lifestyle intervention (i.e., exercise training and nutrition counseling) for people with Stage 1 hypertension. The subjects (N = 24), who were university and hospital employees, were unmedicated and received standard lifestyle intervention; half were randomly assigned to story-centered care. Their 24-hour BP was measured four times at 8-week intervals, twice before and twice after the intervention. Subjects who received story-centered care had greater decreases (p < .05) in awake systolic BP over the 6-month study period. Neither systolic nor diastolic sleep BP was significantly affected. Story-centered care showed promise for contributing to the BP-lowering effect of lifestyle intervention. Approaches for integrating story-centered care into the treatment of people with hypertension are challenging but warrant further attention.

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