Evaluation of family health education to build social support for long-term control of high blood pressure

Health Educ Q. 1985 Spring;12(1):35-50. doi: 10.1177/109019818501200104.


Sustaining patient motivation for long-term adherence to drug therapies remains a substantial problem for physicians, other health care providers, the patients themselves, and their families. Other therapeutic requests such as dietary changes and weight control may be even more difficult to maintain than taking pills. As part of a controlled experimental design implemented in an outpatient teaching hospital, an educational program was implemented to improve family member support for medical compliance among hypertensive patients. Family members were interviewed, counseled, and provided with a booklet for the purpose of educating and involving them in the home management of high blood pressure. The booklet identified ways the family member could assist the patient with medication compliance, appointment keeping, as well as diet and weight control. These items were identified and recorded as behavioral objectives in the booklet. Patients were followed for three years to assess long-term outcomes. Results showed a strong statistically significant difference between the experimental and control groups, with the experimental group demonstrating higher levels of appointment-keeping behavior, weight control, and BP under control (all p values less than .001). Analysis of the main effects of the educational program demonstrated that the family member support intervention accounted for the greatest decrease in diastolic blood pressure variability, R2 = .20, p less than .001.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Body Weight
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Family
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / psychology
  • Hypertension / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Social Environment*
  • Social Support*


  • Antihypertensive Agents