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Putting the squeeze on high blood pressure: A health education project for older Latinos

Denise Ann Benoit, MPH, ORC Macro, 11785 Beltsville Dr., Suite 600, Calverton, MD 20705, 301-572-0537, dbenoit@gwu.edu

Purpose: High blood pressure increases the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Heart disease is one of the most common forms of CVD and is expected to increase among Latinos over the next 20 years, as this population ages. Preventing or improving high blood pressure in older Latinos is essential to reducing CVD.

Methods: High blood pressure educational activities were implemented during two workshops with older Latino immigrants at the EOFULA Senior Center in Washington, DC. Pre- and post-assessments were administered to measure the participants’ change in knowledge and attitudes. Data were collected on the number of participants who could measure their blood pressure before and after the activities. General observations were noted, and a telephone interview was conducted with the EOFULA health educator.

Results: The participants showed some increase in knowledge about high blood pressure from pre- to post-assessment. The observations and interview revealed that the participants had difficulty reading and writing during the assessments, which may have affected the results. Although the assessments did not show substantial changes in the participants’ attitudes, the observations and interview showed that the activities helped to increase awareness. The data revealed that the participants did not master the technique of using the digital blood pressure arm monitors.

Recommendations: To accurately measure the participants’ change in knowledge and attitudes, the assessments should be revised. The questions should require “yes” or “no” responses and should be read aloud. To increase skills in using the digital arm monitors, individual instruction should be provided to the participants.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Latino Health, Aging

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Improving Services for Immigrants, Refugees, Women, and Youth

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA