Hypertension Management among Cambodian-Americans in Rhode Island
Hypertension is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke and the focus of much study in the US. However, there is limited transfer of this knowledge in terms of hypertension management in certain recent immigrant groups such as the Cambodian-‐Americans. Cambodian-‐Americans are often included among the Asian/Pacific Islanders and are one of the fasting growing populations in the US. The purpose of this study was to explore how Cambodians in Rhode Island manage hypertension. This study used a survey design with a convenience sample of 30 participants who could read, write, and understand English. It was conducted at a Cambodian temple, after IRB approval, and the student researcher used an IRB approved script and informational letter to recruit participants during a Buddhist ceremony being held at the temple. Results demonstrated that the majority of the participants understood the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle such as eating more fruits, cutting down on salt in the diet, regular exercise, taking antihypertensive medicines regularly as prescribed by healthcare providers, and avoiding smoking and drinking. An alarming result, however, was that approximately one quarter (26%) of those interviewed responded that they would stop taking the antihypertensive medications as soon as their blood pressure returned to normal. The results of this pilot study indicated the need for further education and primary care for Cambodian Americans with high blood pressure to better understand how cultural beliefs impact hypertension management. Recommendations for APRNs are identified and discussed.