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J Community Health. 2012 Feb;37(1):15-24. doi: 10.1007/s10900-011-9410-6.

The association between self-efficacy and hypertension self-care activities among African American adults.

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  • 1Department of Public Health Sciences, The University of North Carolina Charlotte, Charlotte, NC 28223, USA.


Chronic disease management requires the individual to perform varying forms of self-care behaviors. Self-efficacy, a widely used psychosocial concept, is associated with the ability to manage chronic disease. In this study, we examine the association between self-efficacy to manage hypertension and six clinically prescribed hypertension self-care behaviors. We interviewed 190 African Americans with hypertension who resided in the greater metropolitan Charlotte area about their self-efficacy and their hypertension self-care activities. Logistic regression for correlated observations was used to model the relationship between self-efficacy and adherence to hypertension self-care behaviors. Since the hypertension self-care behavior outcomes were not rare occurrences, an odds ratio correction method was used to provide a more reliable measure of the prevalence ratio (PR). Over half (59%) of participants reported having good self-efficacy to manage their hypertension. Good self-efficacy was statistically significantly associated with increased prevalence of adherence to medication (PR = 1.23, 95% CI: 1.08, 1.32), eating a low-salt diet (PR = 1.64, 95% CI: 1.07-2.20), engaging in physical activity (PR = 1.27, 95% CI: 1.08-1.39), not smoking (PR = 1.10, 95% CI: 1.01-1.15), and practicing weight management techniques (PR = 1.63, 95% CI: 1.30-1.87). Hypertension self-efficacy is strongly associated with adherence to five of six prescribed self-care activities among African Americans with hypertension. Ensuring that African Americans feel confident that hypertension is a manageable condition and that they are knowledgeable about appropriate self-care behaviors are important factors in improving hypertension self-care and blood pressure control. Health practitioners should assess individuals' self-care activities and direct them toward practical techniques to help boost their confidence in managing their blood pressure.

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