Hypertension Self-Treatment and Patient Education

Abstract

The paper describes the need for educational measures in relation to elderly patients with hypertension and the possibility of preventing cardiovascular diseases through appropriate implementations. The PICOT question is used as a research base. As methods of implementing the plan, special courses will be organized for the vulnerable population, as well as assistance at home. The goal is to improve the health of patients with hypertension through a healthy lifestyle and compare the results with the data of those patients who were treated exclusively with medicines. To assess the effectiveness of the study, the patient’s medical data will be used as the basic source of information about changes in health indicators. Scientific works of respected authors are used as additional auxiliary resources. The evaluation of the results will be carried out to determine the effectiveness and usefulness of the implementation and to take appropriate measures if necessary.

The PICOT Question Formulated

The treatment of elderly patients is often complicated by the fact that in addition to specific diseases, doctors have to reduce the impact of age-related ailments, one of which is high blood pressure that causes hypertension. This problem is widespread enough to investigate possible interventions and assess how it is possible to help the elderly population to fight this dangerous disease on their own. Therefore, the following PICOT question can be used for the study: (P) In elderly patients of 60 to 75 years old suffering from hypertension, (I) does patient education intervention like routine 30 minutes walks and healthy diet, (C) compared with only medication treatments, (O) increase their health literacy about his diseases and improve their health status (T) in a 6 months period?

Search Strategy Conducted

According to the conducted studies in this area, it can be argued that the project is necessary, and implementations should be developed since the problem is very relevant. Thus, according to Rajpura and Nayak (2014), “control of hypertension is paramount in the primary as well as secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease” (p. 58). It means that increased blood pressure is a rather frequent companion of heart-related diseases, and appropriate treatment is a mandatory component of comprehensive care. Therefore, in order to eliminate potential additional problems caused by hypertension, it is significant for patients to understand the importance of preventive procedures and to be able to independently take measures to treat the ailment.

Hypertension is inextricably linked to other health problems. Chowdhury et al. (2014) claim that the neglect of such a disease in old age is fraught with a heart attack and other severe problems. Therefore, the project aimed at eliminating the consequences of increased pressure has not only research but also an educational purpose as older adults need to know how they can help themselves in the process of treating the disease and what preventive procedures can be useful for it.

Critical Appraisal of the Evidence Performed

The project aims to help older adults in need of self-treatment of hypertension in order to prevent the development of severe cardiovascular diseases. Nurses’ participation, in this case, can help to not only physically recover but also to improve the health literacy of patients, which will significantly reduce the risk of developing the disease (Wang, Lang, Xuan, Li, & Zhang, 2017). The impact of advanced practice registered nurses will certainly be favorable because sometimes older adults cannot independently find necessary information about a particular disease. The help of a competent specialist will be useful not only as the means of preventing hypertension but also as the method of advancing the role of the nurse since many patients do not always realize the importance of junior medical personnel’s participation in the treatment process. Active measures to introduce appropriate educational methods will allow nurses to realize their potential and help those in need, which is the primary goal of medical staff.

Evidence Integrated with Clinical Expertise and Patient Preferences to Inform a Decision and Practice Change Implemented

Real changes for the better that will be useful in solving the problem of hypertension among the elderly can be achieved by promoting a healthy lifestyle and proper nutrition. It can be done by organizing special courses for those who fall into a vulnerable category or feel the need for appropriate training for prevention. Classes can be conducted either at patients’ homes or at a specially organized place.

To begin with, it is required to convey to people the danger of high blood pressure and describe what causes can lead to hypertension. As a rule, most of the older adults are aware of their problem. Nevertheless, few of them know that one of the ways to overcome the harmful effects of illness lies not only through medications but also through a healthy lifestyle. McNaughton et al. (2014) note the need for additional epidemiologic studies and claim that patients should have an appropriate educational base for treating their maladies on their own. As materials, training aids can be used, as well as various media resources, including websites, television programs, etc. Those materials that aim at promoting a healthy lifestyle, in particular, daily walking, as well as proper nutrition should be the basis of education. For half a year, patients will undergo a course program under the guidance of a nurse, and the results will be summed up upon the completion of the study.

Outcomes Evaluated

As the data that are required to be used to assess the effectiveness of implementation, the health indicators of the members of the target group will be used. Based on periodic pressure level checks several times a day, it is possible to assess whether patients’ condition has improved for the better or not (Sim, Handler, Jacobsen, & Kanter, 2014). Also, it is significant to find out whether people have been helped by daily walks along with a healthy diet. Moreover, personal opinions of program participants should be taken into account. Patients can express their attitudes to the course that they have taken and inform their supervisor about any changes that they observed during the study. If the conducted research is effective, all the participants of the group will certainly confirm the improvement of their well-being. They also will be able to convey information about the benefits of such procedures to their friends and acquaintances so that they, in their turn, could follow their example and also try to lead a healthy lifestyle as one of the ways treat hypertension.

The results of the study may well be used as a basis for further research, as well as a manual for nurses and other medical personnel. As Daskalopoulou et al. (2015) remark, traditional approaches to the treatment of hypertension can be changed under the influence of alternative implementations. Therefore, the method of correct analyzing the results can significantly affect the conclusions.

Project Outcomes Successfully Disseminated

With the help of the analysis of the indicators obtained, a corresponding action plan can be drawn. The correct calculation of all supporting measures in the form of regular walks and proper nutrition can be conducted to use these data as a basis for the following studies and as a successful mechanism to treat hypertension. Also, with the help of the obtained results, it is possible to analyze whether the preventive treatment of high pressure is an effective tool in the fight against cardiovascular diseases. According to James et al. (2014), there is a general assumption that timely interventions to treat high blood pressure can significantly reduce the risk of heart attacks, heart failure, and other similar problems.

As Siu (2015) claims, regular checks should be carried out not only among adults but also young people in order to timely determine the risk of developing hypertension and prevent it. Accordingly, this study is one of the mechanisms to achieve positive results at the end of a six-month period of the whole research. An optimal treatment plan can be applied to the results of the study for planning further implementations. The analysis of the results obtained during the research can help to assess the extent to which the measures described and their effectiveness is relevant. The subsequent study of the issue can be partially simplified due to a theoretically confirmed scientific basis of this implementation and the pieces of evidence that it contains.

References

Chowdhury, E. K., Owen, A., Krum, H., Wing, L. M., Nelson, M. R., & Reid, C. M. (2014). Systolic blood pressure variability is an important predictor of cardiovascular outcomes in elderly hypertensive patients. Journal of Hypertension, 32(3), 525-533.

Daskalopoulou, S. S., Rabi, D. M., Zarnke, K. B., Dasgupta, K., Nerenberg, K., Cloutier, L.,… Padwal, R. S. (2015). The 2015 Canadian Hypertension Education Program recommendations for blood pressure measurement, diagnosis, assessment of risk, prevention, and treatment of hypertension. Canadian Journal of Cardiology, 31(5), 549-568.

James, P. A., Oparil, S., Carter, B. L., Cushman, W. C., Dennison-Himmelfarb, C., Handler, J.,… Ortiz, E. (2014). 2014 evidence-based guideline for the management of high blood pressure in adults: Report from the panel members appointed to the Eighth Joint National Committee (JNC 8). Jama, 311(5), 507-520.

McNaughton, C. D., Kripalani, S., Cawthon, C., Mion, L. C., Wallston, K. A., & Roumie, C. L. (2014). Association of health literacy with elevated blood pressure: A cohort study of hospitalized patients. Medical Care, 52(4), 346.

Rajpura, J., & Nayak, R. (2014). Medication adherence in a sample of elderly suffering from hypertension: Evaluating the influence of illness perceptions, treatment beliefs, and illness burden. Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy, 20(1), 58-65.

Sim, J. J., Handler, J., Jacobsen, S. J., & Kanter, M. H. (2014). Systemic implementation strategies to improve hypertension: The Kaiser Permanente Southern California experience. Canadian Journal of Cardiology, 30(5), 544-552.

Siu, A. L. (2015). Screening for high blood pressure in adults: US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. Annals of Internal Medicine, 163(10), 778-786.

Wang, C., Lang, J., Xuan, L., Li, X., & Zhang, L. (2017). The effect of health literacy and self-management efficacy on the health-related quality of life of hypertensive patients in a western rural area of China: A cross-sectional study. International Journal for Equity in Health, 16(1), 58.