Lived Experience of Mexican-Origin Clients with Hypertension
Repository Posting Date2012-01-11T11:06:43Z
Author(s)Barnes, Donelle M.
Author DetailsDonelle M. Barnes, PhD, RN, CNE
(41st Biennial Convention) Background: Although the rate of hypertension is no higher for Mexican Americans than for whites, their rate of blood pressure (BP) control is lower once diagnosed. Health promoting behaviors, such as taking medication to promote cardiovascular health, have been correlated with perceived barriers to taking medication, social support of family and health care providers, and perceived self efficacy. Before interventions to improve BP control can be planned, we must first understand the meaning of the disease and its treatment, as well as barriers and facilitators to BP control, from the clients' perspective. The purpose of this study was to describe the experience of living with hypertension for Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans living in Texas. Method: A phenomenological study was appropriate to describe adults' experiences with hypertension. One-time interviews took place in the clinic or in the client's home. Final sample was 26 adults, self-identified as Mexican-origin, average age 55.0 years, 50% male, 7.3 years since diagnosis. All immigrants were uninsured while all Mexican Americans had Medicaid or Medicare. Findings: The diagnosis of HTN causes fear, anger, and depression. Some do not know what causes HTN and others believe in both personal and external causes. Some believe that HTN will last the rest of his/her life, but most believe it is of shorter duration. Findings about the management of HTN include forgetting to take medication some days and not being able to afford it. Some have developed a daily routine that includes the medication or have assistance from family members to take their pills. Two themes were different for Mexican immigrants versus Mexican Americans; the cost of treatment and discrimination in health care. Implications: Future interventions with these populations need to include teaching about the disease and assisting with plans to improve BP control, in English and Spanish.