Storytelling Intervention Helps Uncontrolled Hypertension

Storytelling may reduce blood pressure in black patients with uncontrolled hypertension

FRIDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Storytelling intervention may result in blood pressure reduction in black patients with uncontrolled hypertension, according to a study published in the Jan. 18 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Thomas K. Houston, M.D., M.P.H., from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, and colleagues examined the outcome of interactive storytelling intervention for 230 black patients with hypertension. Patients were randomly assigned to either a storytelling intervention group, which watched DVDs featuring storytellers from the patient population, or to a control group, which watched an attention control DVD. Blood pressure was measured at baseline, after three months, and after six to nine months.

The investigators found that, among patients with baseline uncontrolled hypertension, the intervention group experienced a significant reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure at three months. Despite a subsequent increase in blood pressure at the six-month follow-up, the difference between the groups remained. In patients with controlled hypertension, interventional storytelling did not confer any reduction in blood pressure.

"Patients with uncontrolled hypertension who received a storytelling intervention with culturally sensitive messages that promoted hypertension control benefited from this intervention," the authors write.

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