The purpose of the study was to explore the effects of using a structured nursing intervention programme in hypertension care.
Counselling on lifestyle changes to address hypertension helps patients reduce risk factors such as smoking, high alcohol consumption, overweight, dyslipidemia, negative stress and physical inactivity.
The study was performed as a pre-test-post-test study.
All 177 patients diagnosed with hypertension visiting a health centre in Southern Sweden were invited to be counselled by a public health nurse about hypertension, cardiovascular risk factors and non-pharmacological treatment with 15 months follow up.
One hundred patients participated in the study. Systolic blood pressure decreased overall (p < 0.01), three patients with high alcohol consumption were identified, two smokers stopped smoking, two new diabetics were discovered, physical activity increased (p = 0.035) and one-third of the patients changed their medication.
The level of exercise increased and a reduction in systolic blood pressure and in women's weight were the most obvious results of this intervention study. The study elucidates the challenge of executing health behaviour changes.
RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE:
Counselling following a hypertension programme gives hypertensive patients a chance to execute lifestyle changes and have their medication adjusted to achieve goals for blood pressure control. Further prospective studies in this area, with well-defined intervention approaches and several years of follow up, are necessary.
Wiley-Blackwell, 2007. Vol. 16, no 7b, 144-151 p.
counselling; hypertension care; health promotion; non-pharmacological treatment; nurses; nursing