Plan and Implementation
The previously selected problem is hypertension prevention in high-risk populations for high blood pressure. The proposed plan will emphasize helping these categories of patients (older adults, patients with obesity) to recognize their health risks (Cook et al., 2018). Such patients will learn more about the necessary lifestyle changes to prevent hypertension. The intervention will involve providing brief education on hypertension prevention to patients from the categories above and those diagnosed with prehypertension. The intervention will start from identifying the need for it (the risks for hypertension) and obtaining patients’ or their relatives’ consent to participate. Then, professionals will use a pre-recorded short video lecture on the recommended lifestyle choices (5 minutes), provide participants with printed handout materials containing the main ideas from the lecture, and answer their questions. Thus, it is proposed to improve patient education processes that are already in use for the specified categories of patients by adding a short health literacy intervention.
The plan is expected to contribute to improvements for patients and the healthcare organization. In terms of care quality, an additional health literacy intervention will help to attract specific patient populations’ attention to the increasingly common problem of hypertension, thus improving their access to credible information on how to prevent it by adopting healthier behaviors. Regarding safety, the educational materials will cite only evidence-based recommendations, and all patients will be discouraged from making ill-considered decisions, such as trying questionable “trendy” diets and extreme weight loss methods. As for care costs, the intervention is anticipated to make high-risk populations take a critical look at their everyday habits and consider taking preventive measures, thus making high blood pressure visits and hospitalizations less common. The main collaborators that will implement the plan include primary care nurses that work with diverse patient groups and provide education. The implementation process will include data collection, developing the required educational materials, and instructing nurses on how to deliver hypertension prevention education after discussing patients’ chief complaints.
Regarding technology, the proposed intervention will not involve the use of questionable or poorly tested tools for patient education, which indicates the absence of risks for the target population. In particular, it is planned to create one multimedia tool (a video lecture) and one printed tool (a booklet) to enhance patients’ knowledge about hypertension prevention. The use of multimedia in patient education seems to be helpful and harmless, which probably explains the shortage of studies that would test its applicability to hypertension education. However, from the study focused on bone disease, it is clear that both video lectures and printed handouts are effective for knowledge promotion in adult populations (Lopez-Olivo et al., 2019). Not much is known about the cons of multimedia in teaching patients. Nevertheless, the findings reported by Abbasi et al. (2018) suggest that multimedia can be less effective than the multi-method approach when educating patients with chronic heart failure.
The cited findings from the literature referring to the use of multimedia and printed materials in patient education are partially consistent with what I see in my practice as a nurse. For example, patient education booklets are used from time to time to support knowledge development in patients with a variety of health concerns, especially when it comes to those with memory difficulties. The only potential barrier to the use of multimedia in patient education is the need to have the necessary equipment and software to present such educational materials to healthcare clients (Abbasi et al., 2018). In the context of hypertension, multimedia education is more commonly applied to increase patients’ adherence to specific treatment recommendations that have been given (Bijani et al., 2020). Differently from that, the proposed plan will involve health literacy interventions.
The selected population involves patients with different conditions, and there are policies to recommend the provision of lifestyle counseling to such clients. For instance, promoting healthy lifestyle choices is officially among the basic priorities when working with obese patients (Bowen et al., 2018). In their study devoted to the current state of obesity healthcare, Bowen et al. (2018) report healthy lifestyle promotion as a widely recommended measure that finds solid support in studies involving both pediatric and adult patients. Efforts to promote positive lifestyle changes, such as healthier diets and the cessation of pernicious habits, are commonly recommended to improve blood pressure outcomes in all racial groups (Wozniak et al., 2018). Regarding nurses’ role in policy-making, modern researchers suggest that these professionals’ participation should be promoted with the help of proper policy and leadership training (Turale & Kunaviktikul, 2019). Today, nurses have not fulfilled their potential related to influencing policy decisions to promote better care and disease prevention (Turale & Kunaviktikul, 2019). Thus, in the future, nurse leaders are expected to be given more opportunities to enter decision-making groups and propose changes that would be aligned with their experiences.
The key stakeholders relevant to this project are physicians, primary care nurses, patients from the abovementioned groups that will agree to receive hypertension prevention education, and relatives taking care of geriatric patients. Regarding the surprising experiences, I have learned from other nurses that obese patients often misunderstand the basics of healthy lifestyles and regard mono diets and skipping breakfasts as good ways to normalize weight. The recommended patient communication strategies to educate adults with low health literacy include using plain language, data visualization strategies, and decision aids, whereas interprofessional communication should involve timely health information exchange (McCormack et al., 2017). Considering the experiences above, efforts to gather stakeholder input are absolutely necessary since they will help to better understand an average patient’s knowledge level and choose appropriate information sources and wording.
Abbasi, A., Najafi Ghezeljeh, T., Ashghali Farahani, M., & Naderi, N. (2018). Effects of the self-management education program using the multi-method approach and multimedia on the quality of life of patients with chronic heart failure: A non-randomized controlled clinical trial. Contemporary Nurse, 54(4-5), 409-420.
Bijani, M., Tehranineshat, B., Ahrari, F., & Beygi, N. (2020). A comparison between multimedia and traditional education in encouraging adherence to the treatment regimen in patients with hypertension. The Open Hypertension Journal, 12(1), 1-6.
Bowen, P. G., Lee, L. T., McCaskill, G. M., Bryant, P. H., Hess, M. A., & Ivey, J. B. (2018). Understanding health policy to improve primary care management of obesity. The Nurse Practitioner, 43(4), 46-52.
Cook, N. R., Appel, L. J., & Whelton, P. K. (2018). Weight change and mortality: Long-term results from the trials of hypertension prevention. The Journal of Clinical Hypertension, 20(12), 1666-1673.
Lopez-Olivo, M. A., des Bordes, J. K. A., Lin, H., Rizvi, T., Volk, R. J., & Suarez-Almazor, M. E. (2019). Comparison of multimedia and printed patient education tools for patients with osteoporosis: A 6-month randomized controlled trial. Osteoporosis International, 31, 857-866.
McCormack, L., Thomas, V., Lewis, M. A., & Rudd, R. (2017). Improving low health literacy and patient engagement: A social-ecological approach. Patient Education and Counseling, 100(1), 8-13.
Turale, S., & Kunaviktikul, W. (2019). The contribution of nurses to health policy and advocacy requires leaders to provide training and mentorship. International Nursing Review, 66(3), 302-304.
Wozniak, G., Rakotz, M., Yang, J., Sutherland, S., Hanlin, R. B., Davis, R., & Egan, B. (2018). The new definition of hypertension and lifestyle modification treatment recommendations from the 2017 US Guideline for High Blood Pressure (BP) in adults: Implications from a sample of family medicine clinics. Circulation, 138(1), a10399.