An Exploration of the Barriers in the Prevention and Control of High Blood Pressure Among West African Immigrants in Rhode Island
This is a report of a pilot study to explore the barriers to the prevention and control of high blood pressure by West African immigrants in Rhode Island. The incidence of high blood pressure is high in African Americans with many possible contributory factors documented. However, little is known about possible barriers to the control of high blood pressure among specific black ethnic populations such as West African immigrants living in Rhode Island. A qualitative research design employing a semi-structured interview was utilize to explore the issue. The barriers to high blood pressure management reported by these West Africans immigrants reported included: psychosocial stressors, inability to adopt lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise, belief system, and a lack of complete adherence to medication regimen. The study also highlighted the fact that some primary care providers for these patients are not following the recommended interventions for the management of high blood pressure in people of black ancestry. The findings of this pilot study support the need for provider use of available treatment guidelines for population from black ancestry and the necessity for adequate patient education in the areas of stress management strategies and lifestyle modification as adjuncts to medication prescribed for high blood pressure management.