Type of Document Dissertation Author Lang, Lisa Jones URN etd-09042003-143446 Title Expressed Coping Strategies And Techniques Among African American Families In North Florida Who Are Living With Chronic Hypertensive Cardiovascular Disease Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Family and Child Sciences, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Marsha Rehm, Ph.D. Committee Chair Barbara Allison, Ph.D. Committee Member E. Newton Jackson, Jr., Ph.D. Committee Member Keywords
- Cardiovascular Health
- Lifestyle Adjustments
- Chronic Illness
Date of Defense 2003-03-05 Availability unrestricted AbstractThe purpose of this study was to determine how patients as well as members of their families cope with Chronic Hypertensive Cardiovascular Disease and the problems associated with it on a daily basis. Research was done based on Phenomenological theory because it concerns the nature of the lived experience relative to the disease and family life. I wanted to qualitatively explore perceptions, meanings, effects, and experiences among African American patients and family members of Chronic Hypertensive Cardiovascular Disease, and discover coping strategies and adjustments made for daily life.
A purposive convenience sample of ten participants from five households was the sample population for this study. Of the ten participants, five were patients, two were spouses (i.e., one was female and one was male), one was a mother, one was a sister, and one was a daughter of the patients. All of the participants were African American and resided in North Florida. The ages of the participants ranged from 40 years of age to 85 years old.
The participants were observed and interviewed in the comfort of their own homes to promote a familiar environment and safety. The interviews were recorded, transcribed and analyzed. Social support theory and the health belief model were the framework choices for this study. The frameworks were used to determine how and to what extent morale and hope are strengthen and to determine if a personís health and behavior are affected by his or her health beliefs.
Eight different over-arching themes prevailed (e.g., fear and anxiety of the disease, dependency on the physician, family background and familiarity, need for family support, need for external support, coping strategies and techniques, socioeconomic status, and spirituality). Social support regardless as to whether it is in the form of emotional, cognitive, or instrumental, was found to significantly be associated with positive health behaviors such as exercise, medication compliance, diet, regular checkups and appointment keeping patterns. In addition, if a person believes that taking medication that has been prescribed by their physician will make them better, then they will take it. If patients feel that exercise and diet would be beneficial in decreasing either their vulnerability to or the harshness of the condition, and if they believe that the probable costs of taking action are outweighed by benefits then they will comply.
Education plays an important factor as well. Patients knowledgeable about his or her disease will help influence medication compliance, exercise regimen, and diet, which will increase patient progress toward healthy living. Fear and anxiety proved to be the center core of all the themes relative to CHCD. Because of fear and anxiety about the disease, the patients and caregivers showed the dependency and belief they have in the physician. Paradoxically, that fearful state of mind had a positive effect of making the patient more aware and familiar with the disease. Also, because of fear and anxiety, the patient depended a great deal on family and external support in terms of coping strategies and techniques. It was also found that even though a patient may have close ties with family, they must interact with individuals outside the family structure (external support). This may be through agencies, health care providers, or just through some individual who has a kindred spirit and a concern for the circumstance.
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