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J Holist Nurs. 2008 Sep;26(3):173-82; discussion 183-4. doi: 10.1177/0898010108315187. Epub 2008 Apr 18.

How family, community, and work structured high blood pressure accounts: from African Americans in Washington State.

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University of Washington, School of Nursing in the Department of Psychosocial and Community Health, USA.


High blood pressure is one of the most often researched, yet least understood health disparities among African Americans. This descriptive, critical discourse analysis examined how family and community demographics and paid and unpaid work structured participants' accounts of high blood pressure experiences in Washington State. Thirty-seven urban-dwelling African American women (n = 17) and men (n = 20) in Washington State enrolled in the study from 2000-2001. Reports about stress, concerns, worry, loneliness, and paid and unpaid work were given in semi-structured interviews. Analysis results are embedded within three major themes: (a) Aware, But Not Informed, (b) Negotiating Self, Kin and Community Health, and (c) Distant Lives, Distant Love. Knowledge of life factors influencing African Americans' high blood pressure appraisals will help develop context-specific health programs focused on their concerns.

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