Patient education has become one of the essential topics in medical practice since the importance of disease prevention became clear. Many diseases and their complications can be prevented by healthy behavior. For example, hypertension is a chronic condition that results in severe consequences for human health. It is estimated that more than half a billion people will be diagnosed with hypertension in the next five years (Pourmand et al., 2020). Hypertension can cause damage to vital organs such as the brain, heart, and kidneys (Pourmand et al., 2020). Therefore, educating people about the importance of a healthy lifestyle to prevent hypertension cannot be overstated. Patients diagnosed with this chronic disease should be encouraged to follow a prescribed treatment regimen to control their blood pressure and avoid hypertension complications. However, many patients with hypertension are not compliant with the prescribed treatment (Nili et al., 2020). Educating hypertensive patients during the special teaching session, which will be aimed at changing patients’ attitudes toward the disease and treatment, will increase their compliance with healthy diet and medications.
Health behavioral models are essential tools for exploring the reasons behind human actions and changing these actions. There are many behavioral theories, but the two most widely used are the Theory of Reasoned Action and Theory of Planned Behavior, focusing on attitudes and behavior (Pourmand et al., 2020). Theory of Reasoned Action is an earlier and more generalized idea about the connection between beliefs and behaviors (Pourmand et al., 2020). The Theory of Planned Behavior describes the importance of beliefs and attitudes about a subject. It stresses the significance of “perceived behavioral control” or personal view about the difficulty of maintaining specific behavior (Ajzen & Schmidt, 2020, p. 19). According to Ajzen and Schmidt (2020), behavior is determined by intention, which depends on beliefs and attitudes towards the behavior and individual behavioral control. When organizing a teaching session for patients, it is essential to consider these theories to achieve behavioral change.
If I were to organize teaching sessions for hypertensive patients, I would do it in a relaxed environment where all patients will be able to see each other. This will ensure everyone will have an opportunity to discuss their beliefs about hypertension and its complications. Moreover, patients need to discuss their understanding of the role of a healthy diet and antihypertensive medications in maintaining normal blood pressure. Furthermore, I will explain to all hypertensive patients that adherence to medications is necessary to prevent damage from high blood pressure to the vital organs. In addition, I will try to deliver this information clearly and concisely to ensure understanding among patients. Understanding the dangers of high blood pressure will change the perception about the vitality of compliance with antihypertensive treatment. Finally, I will discuss with patients the stepwise action plan during the session on changing their behavior from unhealthy to a healthier one using different visual aids. A clear behavioral change plan will demonstrate to patients that treatment adherence is easily achievable.
Overall, patient education is vital for disease prevention and prevention of complications of many chronic conditions. Healthy behavior theories that state that the execution of behavior depend on the patient’s beliefs about behavior. Changing ideas about the disease will elucidate the importance of compliance with the treatment. Therefore, educational sessions for hypertensive patients should be aimed to change their perception of the disease and its severe consequences to ensure patient adherence to treatment.
Ajzen, I., & Schmidt, P. (2020). Changing behavior using the theory of planned behavior. In M. S. Hagger, L. D. Cameron, K. Hamilton, N. Hankonen, & T. Lintunen (Eds.), The handbook of behavior change (pp. 17–31). Cambridge University Press.
Nili, M., Mohamed, R., & Kelly, K. M. (2020). A systematic review of interventions using health behavioral theories to improve medication adherence among patients with hypertension. Translational Behavioral Medicine, 10(5), 1177–1186. Web.
Pourmand, G., Doshmangir, L., Ahmadi, A., Noori, M., Rezaeifar, A., Mashhadi, R., Aziminia, R., Pourmand, A., & Gordeev, V. S. (2020). An application of the theory of planned behavior to self-care in patients with hypertension. BMC Public Health, 20(1), 1290. Web.