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Medication Adherence In Hypertension Patients

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, does not usually present itself with symptoms. However, it can be deadly if not treated properly. Through time, 78 million Americans have been diagnosed with hypertension. High blood pressure occurs when the force of blood is high causing the arteries to stretch and damage, which can lead to severe complications such as heart attacks. To prevent cardiovascular events, it is important to chronically treat hypertension. With increasing number of patients getting this disease, it is key for patients to stay educated, monitor blood pressure, and adherent to their diet and medication regimen.

According to the Health Belief Model (HBM), there are certain aspects that tell whether a patient will take their medications. Some barriers to adherence include patients perceived susceptibility and severity of the disease. If patients do not think they are going to get a disease or the disease does not impact their quality of life, they may not be adherent to medications. Patients have a call to action, such as taking medications and staying adherent, when there is a perceived threat of the disease. Another hindrance of medication adherence would be the patient’s perceived benefits of taking medications minus the barriers or side effects that comes along with it. This HBM can help pharmacists understand patient non-adherence and allow them to better approach to medication therapy management.

A systematic review in the Health Psychology Review by Jones identified intervention studies used by the health belief model. From 18 studies evaluated, 78% of the studies suggested significant improvements in adherence with behavior change interventions. The health belief model is a way to promote behavior through interventions in a variety of disease. The HBM can be applied to hypertension through the help of pharmacists. Researching how much education patients have about the disease will allow pharmacists to gauge how well patients understand the disease. Knowledge of the disease can be assessed through questionnaires. Through these surveys, pharmacists can learn about the patient’s lifestyle to construct the best regimen.

The prevalence of hypertension will decrease dramatically when pharmacists incorporate the HBM into counseling patients.  By understanding the HBM, our society can better the symptoms of hypertension.


Urvi Patel, PharmD ‘16


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