Objective: The congruence between self-rated health and objective health was examined for associations with health factors related to hypertension (health behaviors, medication barriers, and perceived blood-pressure control).
Methods: The Charlson Comorbidity Index was cross classified with self-rated health, producing four health-congruence groups: good health realists, poor health realists, health optimists, and health pessimists. Data for this study were obtained from 588 hypertensive veterans (mean age = 63) at baseline of a clinical trial to improve blood-pressure control before randomization to an intervention.
Results: Optimists had higher perceived control of their hypertension when compared to pessimists. Additionally, optimists had higher levels of exercise and fewer medication barriers when compared to poor health realists.
Discussion: Health congruence classification could be a useful tool to alert practitioners of patients who may be having difficulties managing their hypertension.