Background: Great strides have been made in improving heart health in the United States during the last 2 decades, yet these strides have not encompassed many ethnic minority populations. There are significant health disparity gaps stemming from both a paucity of valid research and a lack of culturally sensitive interventions. In particular, many Korean Americans with chronic illnesses encounter difficulty navigating the healthcare system because of limited health literacy.
Methods: The effect of a multimodal Self-Help Intervention Program on the Control of High Blood Pressure (HBP) was tested in a community-based clinical trial for Korean American seniors. Of 440 seniors enrolled, 369 completed the study (184 in the intervention group and 185 in the control group; mean age = 70.9±5.3 years). The intervention group received 6 weekly educational sessions on HBP management skill building, including health literacy training, followed by telephone counseling and home blood pressure (BP) monitoring for 12 months.
Results: Findings support that the Self-Help Intervention Program on the Control of HBP was effective in controlling BP in this ethnic/linguistic minority population. The BP control rates for the intervention and control groups were 49.5% vs. 43.2% at baseline, 58.5% vs. 42.4% at 6 months, 67.9% vs. 52.5% at 12 months, and 54.3% vs. 53.0% at 18 months. Significant changes were observed over time in some psychobehavioral outcomes, including self-efficacy for BP control, medication adherence behavior, HBP knowledge, and depression.
Conclusions: The study findings suggest that the multimodal Self-Help Intervention Program on the Control of HBP is effective at promoting optimal HBP control for this ethnic/linguistic minority population.
Clinical trials registry: NCT00406614.
Keywords: Korean Americans.; behavioral intervention; blood pressure; community-based participatory research; health disparity; health literacy; high blood pressure; hypertension.
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