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hypertension control, Korean American, self-help, seniors



  1. Kim, Miyong T. PhD, RN, FAAN
  2. Han, Hae-Ra PhD, RN
  3. Park, Hyun Jeong MSN, MPH, CRNP
  4. Lee, Hwayun MSN, MPH, RN
  5. Kim, Kim B. PhD


Although significant progress has been made in the reduction of overall cardiovascular risk factors in the United States during the last decade, controlling high blood pressure (HBP) remains a difficult task for many individuals. In particular, socially disadvantaged groups, such as new immigrants, and ethnic minority groups, such as Korean Americans, continue to struggle with this chronic disease and suffer unnecessary complications. We conducted a quasi-experimental study to test the efficacy of a self-help intervention program for HBP control in first-generation Korean American seniors with HBP. The intervention consisted of 3 concurrently administered components: (1) structured behavioral education on HBP management, (2) home blood pressure (BP) monitoring, and (3) monthly support groups facilitated by a bilingual nurse. Of the 49 Korean American seniors (>=60 years old) who agreed to participate, 31 received the intervention and completed the follow-up interviews at 6 months. Final analysis of BP outcomes using repeated measures and postintervention data suggested that the self-help intervention was effective in significantly improving the proportion of individuals who achieved BP control (<140/90 mm Hg) and in lowering both systolic and diastolic BP in the sample. Specifically, the BP control rate, which was 29% at baseline, increased at 6 months to 69%. Likewise, the mean systolic and diastolic BP values of 142.7 and 87.1 mm Hg at baseline decreased to 129.3 and 75.3 mm Hg, respectively, after 6 months of follow-up. This improvement of the HBP control rate in the sample highlights the clinical efficacy of the self-help intervention for this traditionally underserved immigrant group.