How to coach patients to help them be successful in blood pressure management? Research shows that in one-year only 50% of patients take their blood pressure medication as prescribed.
One of my roles as a physician is to coach and motivate (!) my patients. I am not their mother, daughter, sister, or boss. I give advice… and the patient has the option to adhere to my advice. In this manner, I need to meet the patient, wherever they are psychologically. Often treatments are not successful as they are not followed. Then, my question to myself is why (?) did they not follow the treatment?
- Was it too expensive?
- Did they not understand the instructions?
- Do they not believe that the treatment will help them?
- Do they think there will be adverse side effects from it?
- Did they try it and there were side effects?
- How can I help?
Lifestyle changes, per the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology for NON-pharmacologic control of blood pressure includes…
- Limit sodium to 2400 mg a day. Do not add additional salt.
- Read labels on prepackaged foods to estimate sodium intake.
- Stop using tobacco products.
- Limit alcohol consumption to 2 drinks per day for men, 1 for women.
- Measure blood pressure daily at different times of day. Make a log. Show your physician this log.
- The rules to measure blood pressure are to rest for 3 minutes before checking blood pressure, measure blood pressure when arm is at the height of the heart.
- Exercise 3-4 times per week, 40 minutes per session.
- Eat a diet rich with vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
- Limit red meat and sweets.
There are also peer support programs which may help to promote and sustain healthy behavior. Research
- Better Choices Better Health at https://betterchoicesbetterhealth.ca/online/hl/hlMain or
- Chronic Disease Self-Management Program.
Let us physicians help you maintain better health.