Duff, Edith M. ; Wilks, Rainford J.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
UWI School of Nursing
Six-month Hypertension Intervention Study. One Year Follow-Up
West Indian Medical Journal
Date of Publication
The aim of this study was to assess the long term impact of an educational and monitoring intervention on blood pressure control in patients (n = 80) who had blood pressure > 140/90 mm Hg in January 1999, and attended the Specialist Hypertension Clinic, the University Hospital of the West Indies. Forty-two of these patients (cases) attended the monthly educational and monitoring intervention for six months, in addition to their usual care. The other 38 (controls) attended only one educational intervention at the end of the six months. One year later, patients were traced by telephone or clinic attendance. Data were collected on 73 (91%) patients, 40 (95%) cases and 33 (87%) controls by clinic records or by direct measurement of blood pressure and weight. Three (7.5%) cases and two (6%) controls had died. One (2.5%) case and five (15%) controls had been referred to renal or cardiac clinics. Twenty-five (59.5%) cases, and 14 (36.8%) controls were still attending the clinic. At the end of the year, 26% (7/27) of the cases and 30% (6/20) of the controls had blood pressure (BP) controlled to < 140/90 mm Hg. These proportions compare to 28% (11/39) cases and 22% (8/36) controls at the end of the six-month intervention. At the end of one year, neither cases nor controls showed significant mean changes in BP, weight, nor body mass index (BMI). There was no significant difference between the median BMI of the cases, 31.2 kg/m2 and that of the controls, 29.3 kg/m2. Seventy-seven per cent (21/27) cases and 84.2% (16/19) controls had BMI > 25 kg/m2. These data, though limited, are consistent with reports that the impact of lifestyle interventions in chronic diseases may be short lived. This study suggests that therapeutic lifestyle intervention strategies need to be integrated with the overall management of patients so that the effect may be sustained. (AU)....