250576 Differences in experiences of stress among female and male patients in a Stroke and Heart Attack Prevention Program

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 2:45 PM

Marylen Rimando, PhD, MPH, CHES, CPH , Department of Health and Human Physiology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Introduction: Hypertension, known as a silent killer, is an important issue in clinical practice today. African American females have higher heart disease mortality rates than Whites. Hypertension affects more than 73 million Americans or approximately 1 in 3 adults in their lifetime. African Americans have been shown to have higher rates of uncontrolled hypertension compared to Caucasians. Stroke and Heart Attack Prevention Program is a hypertension management program low-income, uninsured patients. The purpose is to understand the patients' experiences with stressors during their hypertension management. Method: Twenty nine White African American patients were interviewed individually at a hypertension clinic in a health department in the southeast. Patients were diagnosed with hypertension and enrolled in the program for at least a year. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and transcripts were analyzed to identify major themes. Results: Women reported negative experiences with stressors like unemployment, divorce, raising children, work. They described how their hypertension increased because of their poor stress management. Male reported more positive experiences and fewer experiences with daily stressors. Discussion: There is a need for gender and culturally sensitive programs and treatment regimens for female and male patients and African American and White patients. These results can be especially helpful to primary care physicians who encounter hypertensive patients in their practice. Limitations include not generalizing results to all hypertensive patients and those living in other regions of the US. Results suggest the importance of patient education in hypertension management and learning the coping skills for successful stress management.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Clinical medicine applied in public health
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Diversity and culture
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the differences in experiences with daily stressors between females and males in a state stroke and heart attack prevention program.

Keywords: Aging, Stress

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted this study as part of my dissertation at the University of Georgia.
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.