New research has shown patients with hypertension are more likely to lower their blood pressure if they receive extra support and advice about their medication.
Scientists studied 136 people in Jordan who had high blood pressure and who were failing to take their medicines correctly. It was found Adherence Therapy (AT) helped patients lower their blood pressure by altering their way of thinking and encouraging them to keep taking important medicines.
AT is normally delivered by trained clinicians over a series of seven weekly 20 minute consultations. Researchers said the therapy positively influences a patient’s attitude and belief about medication, compared to prescribing drugs to patients in the expectation the prescription will be followed correctly.
Amy Thompson, Senior Cardiac Nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said:
“We know people with high blood pressure are more likely to have a heart attack or stroke so these findings shouldn’t be ignored.
“However, we need to explore further how patients may benefit from techniques such as one-on-one support. In the meantime, healthcare professionals need to consider the possible barriers which stop people taking their medication.
“If you’re taking medicines it’s vital you take them exactly as prescribed by your doctor. You could be putting your health – or even your life – at risk if you don’t. Remember to talk to your GP if you have any concerns or doubts about your medication, don’t simply stop taking it.”
The research was published in the Journal of Human Hypertension.