Stress interventions and hypertension in Black women
Hypertension is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Black women have high rates of hypertension compared to women of other racial or ethnic groups and are disproportionately affected by psychosocial stressors such as racial discrimination, gender discrimination, and caregiving stress. Evidence suggests that stress is associated with incident hypertension and hypertension risk. Stress management is associated with improvements improved blood pressure outcomes. The purpose of this review is to synthesize evidence on effects of stress management interventions on blood pressure in Black women. A comprehensive search of scientific databases was conducted. Inclusion criteria included studies that were: (1) primary research that tested an intervention; (2) in the English language; (3) included African-American women; (4) incorporated stress in the intervention; (5) included blood pressure as an outcome; and (6) were US based. Eighteen studies met inclusion criteria. Ten (56%) studies tested meditation-based interventions, two (11%) tested coping and affirmation interventions, and six (33%) tested lifestyle modification interventions that included stress management content. Thirteen of the studies were randomized controlled trials. Reductions in blood pressure were observed in all of the meditation-based interventions, although the magnitude and statistical significance varied. Comprehensive lifestyle interventions were also efficacious for reducing blood pressure, although the relative contribution of stress management versus behavior modification could not be evaluated. Coping and affirmation interventions did not affect blood pressure. Most of the reviewed studies included small numbers of Black women and did not stratify results by race and gender, so effects remain unclear. This review highlights the urgent need for studies specifically focusing on Black women. Given the extensive disparities in cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality, whether stress management can lower blood pressure and improve primary and secondary cardiovascular disease prevention among Black women is an important question for future research.
Strategies to Improve Adherence to Anti-Hypertensive Medications: a Narrative Review
PURPOSE OF REVIEW/OBJECTIVE:Medication adherence is critical for effective management of hypertension, yet half of patients with hypertension are non-adherent to medications. In this review, we describe and critically evaluate medication adherence interventions published in the past 3Â years for patients with hypertension. RECENT FINDINGS/RESULTS:We identified 1593 articles and 163 underwent full review, of which 42 studies met the inclusion criteria. Studies were classified into eight categories: simplification of medication regimen (e.g., fixed dose combination pills); electronic Health (eHealth) tools (e.g., text messaging reminders); behavioral counseling (e.g., motivational interviewing); healthcare system changes (e.g., patient-centered medical home); patient education; multicomponent chronic disease management program; home blood pressure monitoring; and financial incentives. Studies utilizing strategies to simplify medication regimens, eHealth tools, patient education, and behavioral counseling were most likely to report positive findings. Interventions targeting patient behavior were more likely to be associated with improvements in medication adherence compared to those targeting providers or the healthcare system. eHealth tools show promise for augmenting behavioral interventions. A major limitation of included trials was short study duration and use of self-report measures of medication adherence. Future research should explore how complex interventions that utilize a combination of evidence-based strategies and target multiple adherence behaviors (e.g., both day-to-day medication taking and long-term persistence) may be efficacious in improving medication adherence.