, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 62-73

A Culturally Adapted Telecommunication System to Improve Physical Activity, Diet Quality, and Medication Adherence Among Hypertensive African–Americans: A Randomized Controlled Trial

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Hypertension is more prevalent and clinically severe among African–Americans than whites. Several health behaviors influence blood pressure (BP) control, but effective, accessible, culturally sensitive interventions that target multiple behaviors are lacking.


We evaluated a culturally adapted, automated telephone system to help hypertensive, urban African–American adults improve their adherence to their antihypertensive medication regimen and to evidence-based guidelines for dietary behavior and physical activity.


We randomized 337 hypertensive primary care patients to an 8-month automated, multi-behavior intervention or to an education-only control. Medication adherence, diet, physical activity, and BP were assessed at baseline and every 4 months for 1 year. Data were analyzed using longitudinal modeling.


The intervention was associated with improvements in a measure of overall diet quality (+3.5 points, p < 0.03) and in energy expenditure (+80 kcal/day, p < 0.03). A decrease in systolic BP between groups was not statistically significant (−2.3 mmHg, p = 0.25).


Given their convenience, scalability, and ability to deliver tailored messages, automated telecommunications systems can promote self-management of diet and energy balance in urban African–Americans.

Study registered at ClinicalTrials.gov with ID: NCT00207194