Labelling in hypertension: A review of the behavioural and psychological consequences
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Recent evidence has suggested that the detection and treatment of hypertension can result in adverse psychological and behavioural consequences. Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest that these consequences may outweigh the gains in the case of mild hypertension where the benefit of treatment has not yet been established. This paper reviews the literature to date regarding the behavioural and psychological changes which have occurred upon the detection and labelling of hypertension. In addition, an explanation is posed which may resolve some of the contradictory findings with regard to the phenomenon. Finally, a strategy to alleviate, or at least minimize, the deleterious labelling of individuals as "hypertensive" is proposed for testing in future experiments.
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