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6.4.14

Community Health Coaches Improve Hypertension Self-Management in Rural Appalachia

Health Promot Pract. 2014 May 16. [PubMed Abstract]

Improving Hypertension Self-Management With Community Health Coaches
Dye CJ, Williams JE, Evatt JH

Approximately two thirds of those older than 60 years have a hypertension diagnosis. The aim of our program, Health Coaches for Hypertension Control, is to improve hypertension self-management among rural residents older than 60 years through education and support offered by trained community volunteers called Health Coaches. Participants received baseline and follow-up health risk appraisals with blood work, educational materials, and items such as blood pressure monitors and pedometers.

Data were collected at baseline, 8 weeks, and 16 weeks on 146 participants who demonstrated statistically significant increases in hypertension-related knowledge from baseline to 8 weeks that persisted at 16 weeks, as well as significant improvements in stage of readiness to change behaviors and in actual behaviors. Furthermore, clinically significant decreases in all outcome measures were observed, with statistically significant changes in systolic blood pressure (-5.781 mmHg; p = .001), weight (-2.475 lb; p < .001), and glucose (-5.096 mg/dl; p = .004) after adjusting for multiple comparisons. Although 40.4% of participants met the Healthy People 2020 definition of controlled hypertension at baseline, the proportion of participants meeting this definition at 16 weeks postintervention increased to 51.0%. This article describes a university-community-hospital system model that effectively promotes hypertension self-management in a rural Appalachian community.

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