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Community Health Workers as Allies in Hypertension Self-Management and Medication Adherence in the United States, 2014
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Details:
  • Pubmed ID:
    28033090
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC5201147
  • Description:
    Introduction

    Rates of hypertension control remain low among underserved populations in the United States; moreover, disparities in hypertension-related cardiovascular disease death are increasing. Community health workers (CHWs) can address barriers to hypertension control among underrepresented and diverse populations. We identify unique roles CHWs play in hypertension self-management and medication adherence.

    Methods

    In 2014, we conducted a mixed methods study with an online survey of 265 CHWs and 23 telephone interviews. The survey and interview guide contained questions about CHWs’ roles in hypertension self-management and hypertension medication adherence. We used descriptive statistics to analyze survey data and used inductive thematic analysis for the qualitative data.

    Results

    CHWs described working in partnership with patients and various health care providers to assist people in hypertension self-management. Roles were flexible and multifaceted but patient-driven. CHWs used various delivery methods to assist patients in overcoming barriers to medication adherence. CHWs interacted with patients primarily through individual clinical sessions or home visits. On average, they visit about 8 times per month, about 40 minutes per visit, over 7 months. CHWs often addressed barriers related to medicine-taking and refills and support patient–provider communications.

    Conclusion

    Results from this study will help health care professionals, policy makers, and academics better understand the work of CHWs. CHWs are important provider allies for improving hypertension prevention and self-management, especially among underserved and diverse populations in the United States.

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