212056 Use of phenomenology to understand the lived experiences of adults diagnosed with hypertension

Monday, November 9, 2009

Marylen Rimando, MPH , College of Public Health, Department of Health Promotion and Behavior, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Background: Hypertension currently affects more than 72 million Americans or approximately one in three adults or more than 90% of individuals during their lifetime. Up to two thirds of hypertensive adults in the United States are either untreated or undertreated. Large disparities exist between whites and blacks with hypertension in the United States in terms of prevalence, control, and treatment. Conceptual Framework: Phenomenology is an in-depth understanding of a participant's or group's lived experiences or phenomenon. Methods: An in-depth review of the qualitative literature was conducted using the nursing and allied health databases to discover the research methods utilized and common themes found. Phenomenology was the conceptual framework of interest. Results: Six studies from the nursing field were found using qualitative methods. Three studies utilized focus groups, 2 utilized individual structured interviews, and 1 utilized individual semi-structured interviews. Common themes included having hypertension due to passing it on generation to generation, work related stress, balancing family, church, home, and work life, and difficulty communicating with physicians. Conclusions: The results can inform physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers about methods to help understand differing hypertension perceptions among whites and blacks. The results can improve provider - patient communication in the clinical setting and patient hypertension management. Differing from quantitative methods often utilized in medicine, this review focuses on qualitative methods, specifically focus groups and semi-structured interviews. Phenomenology offers a promising strategy to understanding patients' lived experiences with hypertension, especially those who are minorities and medically underserved.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the research methods utilized and the common themes found in the qualitative literature review.

Keywords: Hypertension, Chronic Diseases

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a doctoral student in Health Promotion and Behavior. This research was conducted during my doctoral program.
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.