Hypertension is a chronic condition that disproportionately affects African Americans. Managing high blood pressure (HBP) requires adherence to daily medication. However, many patients with hypertension take their HBP medication inconsistently, putting them at heightened risk of heart disease. Researchers have shown that these health risks are greater for African Americans than for Caucasians. In this article, we examine barriers and facilitators of medication adherence among urban African Americans with hypertension. We interviewed 24 African Americans with hypertension (58.5% women, average age 59.5 years) and conducted a comprehensive thematic analysis. Twenty-two barriers and 32 facilitators to medication adherence emerged. Barriers included side effects and forgetting while facilitators included reminders, routines, and social support. Using this data, we developed a diagram of theme connectedness of factors that affect medication adherence. This diagram can guide multi-level HBP intervention research that targets African Americans to promote medication adherence, prevent heart disease, and reduce ethnic and racial health disparities.
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This project was funded by the Irwin W. Steans Center’s Community–based Research Faculty Fellowship at DePaul University.
University institutional review boards (at Rush University Medical Center and DePaul University) reviewed and approved all study procedures. Participants provided written consent prior to the study.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. Dr. Ruppar has served as a consultant for Becton Dickinson and The Medicines Company/Novartis.
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Schober, D.J., Tate, M., Rodriguez, D. et al. High Blood Pressure Medication Adherence Among Urban, African Americans in the Midwest United States. J. Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities 8, 607–617 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40615-020-00819-2
- Medication adherence
- African Americans
- Minority health
- Health status disparities