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Tips for improving hypertension management using Text Messaging People diagnosed

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Tips for improving hypertension management using Text Messaging
People diagnosed with hypertension are often baffled, and most ask why they have developed the condition. Although some believe that they live a healthy life, they end up getting hypertension, which explains why they are baffled because they develop the condition. Hypertension is a severe health condition that affects the heart, cerebrum, kidney, and other chronic ailments if not treated. When healthcare providers make high blood pressure diagnoses, they package with severe complications (Leon, 2015). They often discuss the risks to motivate their patients to improve their lifestyle to help them attain optimal health. Important facts about Hypertension
Hypertension prevalence among non-Hispanic blacks is 57%, non-Hispanic whites 43.6%, and Hispanics 43.7% (Centers for Disease Prevention and Control [CDC], 2020). About 1.13 billion people have hypertension and majority of these individuals live in low- or middle-income countries (World Health Organization, 2019). In United states, about 108 million adults are diagnosed with hypertension and only one in four adults have their BP under control (CDC, 2020). It cost United States about 131 billion each year to treat hypertension and this cost is averaged over 12 months from 2003 to 2014. Hypertension is known to cause cardiovascular disease and stroke which are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality (CDC, 2020). In United states, hypertension was the primary or contributing cause of death for more than 494,873 individuals in 2018 (CDC, 2020).
Know your Risk Factors.
Modifiable risk Factors: Unhealthy diet, obesity, inactivity, alcohol, smoking, and diabetes.
Unmodifiable risk factors: Age, family history, and sex (CDC, 2020).
Your Healthcare provider can use Text Messaging to Encourage you to do Aerobic Activity to Improve your Hypertension
Hypertension is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Lowering blood pressure will decrease stroke, heart attack, and heart failure (CDC, 2020). However, recent studies support the use of non-pharmacological approach such as short message service (SMS) texting to manage hypertension, encourage aerobic exercises, and improve medication adherence (Vargas, 2017). The use of SMS increases the probability of improved adherence to the plan. To improve the effectiveness of these text messages, depends on the timing, frequency, and the message content. The frequency at which the text messages are sent to the patient should be based on adherence and compliance to the workout plan. If the patient reports that they regularly forget to work out, they should receive the text every morning about four times a week (Vargas, 2017).
Health care providers can communicate with the patients through SMS. This improves the interaction and communication between the two. The message can either be educative messages, feedback messages, encouraging messages, or a reminder: Educative messages inform the patient about the importance of physical activities, especially aerobics, in promoting their health and improving their management of the condition (Leon, 2015). They not only focus on informing the importance of workout but also provide more information about the problem, its effects, and self-management techniques. The more information that the patients have on the problem, the more likely they are to participate in their treatment while providing suggestions to improve the quality of care (Leon, 2015). The content of the text message also includes lifestyle changes such as exercise, diet, smoking cessation, decrease alcohol consumption, and medication adherence (Chow et al., 2015)
Feedback messages allow the patients to self-report their self-management skills and the level of compliance, allowing the care providers to revise the intervention accordingly (Vargas, 2017). Through the SMSs, the care providers can directly and easily communicate with the patients. This allows them to monitor their health through self-reports closely. They can help the patients manage the severity of their problems by telling when the self-report is wrong or modifying the messages’ intervention or nature to match the clients’ health status (Vargas, 2017).
An encouragement text focuses on motivating the patients. Notably, hypertension is a long-term disease that needs proper and adequate care. Unfortunately, the patients are likely to give up during the process if they do not get the support and motivation they need to continue with the aerobic exercise or stick to a predetermined workout plan (Vargas, 2017). Studies show that supporting hypertension patients through SMS encourages them to have more step counts or believe in their abilities to manage the condition than those who do not receive the SMS. They create a sense of direction for the patients.
Reminder SMS services are mainly designed to inform the patients that it is time to work out. There are sent at a particular time when it is time to work out to ensure that the patients do not fail or forget to workout. Reminders are particularly efficient for adults, who have many roles and responsibilities, and have a weak memory, making it challenging for them to recall everything (Leon, 2015).
Thus, text messaging is an effective way of reminding patients to encourage aerobic exercise among African American adults living with hypertension. However, the SMS type substantially influences the effectiveness of the messages delivered. Notably, there are multiple SMS delivered and categorized into SMS that provides aerobic activity reminders, diet, smoking cessation, and decrease alcohol intake reminders, which are sent daily three to four days a week depending on the patient’s desire.
What Research Finds
Studies shows that using text messaging to motivate walking in older African Americans improved step count and activity level than those who did not receive text message (Kim & Glanz, 2013). Chow et al., (2015) found that life focused text message among patients with coronary heart disease, to educate and remind patients about exercise, diet, smoking cessation, and decrease in alcohol consumption showed a greater improvement in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) level and other cardiovascular risk factors. Body mass index (BMI) decreased significantly, physical activity increased, and a significant reduction in smoking (26% vs 44%).
Important of Aerobic Activity
Regular physical activity help to keep your heart and blood vessels stronger and thus may lower your blood pressure. Regular activity also helps you to lose weight thereby lowering the blood pressure. References
Centers for Disease Prevention and Control [CDC], (2020). Hypertension prevalence among adults aged 18 and over: United States, 2017–2018. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db364.htm
Chow, C. K., Redfern, J., Hillis, G. S., Thakkar, J., Santo, K., Hackett, M. L., Jan, S., Graves, N., de Keizer, L., Barry, T., Bompoint, S., Stepien, S., Whittaker, R., Rodgers, A., & Thiagalingam, A. (2015). Effect of lifestyle-focused text messaging on risk factor modification in patients with coronary heart disease: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association, 12, 1255.
Kim, B. H., & Glanz, K. (2013). Text messaging to motivate walking in older African Americans: a randomized controlled trial. American journal of preventive medicine, 44(1), 71–75. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2012.09.050
Leon, N. S. (2015). Improving treatment adherence for blood pressure lowering via mobile phone SMS-messages in South Africa: A qualitative evaluation of the SMS-text Adherence SuppoRt (StAR) trial. . BMC family practice, 16(1),80.
Vargas, G. C. (2017). Use of short messaging service for hypertension management: a systematic review. The Journal of cardiovascular nursing, 32(3), 260.
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