Abstract 3016: Spirituality and Medication Adherence in Older African American Adults Diagnosed with Hypertension: A Qualitative Study
Background: Medication adherence (ADH) is key to decreasing hypertension (HTN)-related morbidity and mortality in older African-American (AA) adults. However, older AA adults have poorer ADH to prescribed antihypertensive medications when compared to their younger and Caucasian-American counterparts. Patient beliefs and cultural concepts about their medications influence their medication ADH. An important cultural concept in this regards is spirituality, which is a significant resource in the AA community. Thus, the purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the role of spirituality in ADH to antihypertensive medications for older AA adults.
Methods: Older AA adults who were members of a Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) and who were (a) diagnosed with HTN; (b) prescribed at least one antihypertensive medication; (c) self-identified as African-American or Black; and (d) self-identified as spiritual completed one in-depth individual face-to-face in this qualitative descriptive study informed by grounded theory. Demographic data were also collected.
Results: Twenty-one PACE members completed the study. All of the participants were female. The mean age of participants was 73 years with most completing high school (67%). The mean HTN diagnosis was16.7 years and mean number of prescriptions for antihypertensives was 3.3. Participants indicated that their spirituality was used in a collaborative process with formal health care to manage their ADH to antihypertensive medications. This process was identified as Partnering with God to Manage My Medications. Partnering with God to Manage My Medications indicated that the PACE members acknowledged personal responsibility for adhering to their antihypertensive medication regimen but used their spirituality as a resource for
making decisions to remain adherent;
coping with medication side effects; and
increasing their self-efficacy to deal with barriers to ADH .
Conclusions: Spirituality played a positive role in medication adherence for the PACE members. Incorporating individual beliefs, such as spirituality, into patient treatment for HTN may capitalize on their inner resources for medication ADH and demonstrates culturally appropriate care.