187124 Addressing the Social Context of Hypertension Management among African Americans using Photovoice methodology

Monday, October 27, 2008: 8:45 AM

Maghboeba Mosavel, PhD , Department of Social and Behavioral Health, School of Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth Universtiy, Richmond, VA
Andy O'Connor, DO , Center for Reducing Health Disparities, Case Western Reserve University, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Cleveland, OH
Ayella Shams , Center for Reducing Health Disparities, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
Sheila Patterson, PhD , Department Chairperson for the Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH
Teleangé Thomas , City of Cleveland, Department of Public Health, Cleveland, OH
African Americans have a much higher age adjusted prevalence of hypertension compared to whites. In this study, we explore the social determinants that act as a barrier to the hypertension management among low income inner city African American patients. We used a research methodology known as photovoice to capture the challenges experienced by those with uncontrolled hypertension. Forty patients with poorly controlled hypertension were randomly selected from three community clinics. Patients attended picture taking training sessions which helped them to critically reflect on their environment and use this to take pictures. Based on these pictures, we developed the themes that identified the multiple and varied factors that influence the patient's ability to control their hypertension effectively. Furthermore, we developed a community advisory team consisting of community residents and other community stakeholders to guide the research. In this presentation, we will discuss the challenges associated with the photovoice assignment. More importantly, we will discuss the feasibility and rewards of utilizing this particular method, photovoice, to capture important and visually powerful themes related to hypertension control. This project not only highlighted the significance of hypertension control to the participants but it also served to educate and inform others about the challenges associated with hypertension control in the African American community.

Learning Objectives:
•To identify the social, personal, cultural and environmental factors that affect hypertension •To identify the barriers in the community that pose challenges for treatment adherence •To identify the potential resources in the community to help with managing hypertension and improving health in general •To discuss how the mistrust of minority and poor individuals towards researchers can be decreased by building a relationship between researchers and participants •To articulate a method by which patients can engage in a critical reflection of self, illness, and community • To discuss how policy makers can bring a change in the community by looking at factors identified by the community •To discuss how health care professionals can consider the social context of an illness while evaluating, treating and working with patients

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the study coordinator for the hypertension project
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.