Perception of uncontrolled blood pressure and behaviours to improve blood pressure: findings from the 2009 Survey on Living with Chronic Diseases in Canada
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Individuals with hypertension should lower and maintain their blood pressure levels through lifestyle modification and/or pharmacotherapy. To determine whether perception of blood pressure control is related to behaviours and intentions for improving blood pressure, data from 6142 Canadians age 20+ years with self-reported hypertension were analysed. Relationships between perception of control, current behaviours for blood pressure control and intentions to improve these behaviours were examined. Although individuals who reported uncontrolled blood pressure were equally likely to report engaging in lifestyle behaviours for blood pressure control, they were more likely to indicate an intention to improve their health, compared with those who reported well-controlled/low blood pressure. These individuals were also less likely to report having enough information to control their blood pressure. In addition, they were less likely to report having been advised to take antihypertensive medication, and to be taking and adhering to medications. Individuals who perceive their blood pressure as uncontrolled have intentions to make health-enhancing changes but may lack the information to do so. The study highlights the potential need for programmes/services to help those with uncontrolled blood pressure make lifestyle changes and/or take appropriate medication.
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