Background: Hypertension among African American women is of epidemic proportions. Nonadherence to treatment contributes to uncontrolled blood pressure in this population. Factors associated with adherence to treatment in African American women are unknown. The purpose of this study was to identify factors associated with adherence to hypertension treatment in African American women.
Methods: Five audio-taped focus groups were conducted with hypertensive African American women, 35 years and older receiving treatment for hypertension from an inner-city free clinic. All transcripts from the tapes were analyzed for content describing adherence to treatment factors.
Findings: factors associated with adherence to treatment in hypertensive african american women were in three main categories including: beliefs about hypertension, facilitators of adherence to treatment, and barriers to adherence to treatment.
Implications: The study supports the need for education on managing hypertension and medication side effects, early screening for depression in hypertensive African Americans, development of culturally sensitive hypertension educational material, and formation of support groups for promoting adherence to treatment among African American women with hypertension.
Keywords: African American; adherence; hypertension treatment factors.