Criticism of Research on the Treatment of Hypertension

Problem Statement

The main objective of this paper is to present a quantitative critique of research entitled “Expectations of blood pressure management in hypertensive African American patients: A qualitative study” (Ogedegbe, Mancuso, & Allegrante, 2004). Ogedegbe, Mancuso, and Allegrante (2004) argue that African Americans stand higher chances of contracting diseases such as stroke and renal complications, which are adverse hypertension-related diseases, compared to Native Americans (Mutnick, 2004, p. 5). The article explains that hypertension treatment and recovery mainly depend on the biomedical model of the patients.

The Study Purpose and Research Questions

The aim of the study, which is to find and group the hypertensive African-American patients’ expectations of treatments, and the questions designed in the study are to a certain extent relevant to the problem matter identified in the study. The problem, which is the higher rate of hypertension-related diseases experienced in African-Americans, has been addressed by the quantitative format that has been used in the study. The research questions of the study were:

  1. Are the patients ready to continue taking their blood pressure medications throughout their life?
  2. Are the patients hoping to get full recovery from hypertension?

Literature Review

The authors of the article did not conduct a proper literature review to address the problem they identified. In order to make their work look credible enough, the authors have simply referred to literatures that address similar problems (Taylor, Kermode, & Roberts, 2006, p. 90). Although there is no proper evaluation of the literatures, the authors have cited similar studies such as the one that was conducted on Louisiana women who were suffering from hypertension-related complications. The use of similar studies conducted in different articles has assisted Ogedegbe, Mancuso, and Allegrante (2004) to make their research more reliable.

The authors of the article have also effectively presented and discussed the strengths and weaknesses of the previous studies on the same subject. Through these weaknesses, the authors have managed to improve their research by coming up with comprehensive findings. Although the comparison to such studies seems to be limited, they are empirically based making the current study a phenomenological one. The fact that the findings of the current study conform to those of the previous ones makes this research a success (Taylor, Kermode, & Roberts, 2006, p. 91).

Conceptual/Theoretical Framework

This study lacks a properly defined framework; the authors should have used a distinct framework to categorize their concepts. The study has simply given a direction defined by the problem matter; the aspect of the hypertensive patients has been determined by other biomedical models. The study has also tried to suggest several approaches that could help in dealing with hypertension-related complications in African-Americans.

Study Design and Procedures

The participants of this study were patients recruited from the Cornell Internal Medicine Associates based in New York City. The participants were purely African-American patients suffering from hypertension-related complications. They were individuals who at the time of the study had attained at least 18 years; they had suffered from hypertension for not less than 1 year and could also express themselves in English. Out of the 108 potential participants, 93 agreed to be interviewed. Close to 58% of the total participants were women and almost all the participants were middle-class individuals who lived on a salary of less than $20,000.

All the interviews in the study were done by one interviewer to ensure consistency. Each interview that was conducted was between 20 to 30 minutes. To verify the aspect of validity in the responses given by the participants, their medical records for the last 12 months preceding the interview date were reviewed (Ogedegbe, Mancuso, & Allegrante, 2004, p. 444).

Ethical Considerations

The researchers of the study were permitted by the institutional review board to carry out the study. The fact that only 93 out of the 108 patients approached participated in the study is a clear indication that the participants’ consent was sought before recruiting them into the study. All the participants were allowed to choose where and when to be interviewed. They were also allowed to use their preferred mode of communication with some of them opting for telephone interviews.

Results

Out of the 93 participants, 81 of them suffered from high blood pressure with 60% having serious hypertensive conditions that are uncontrollable. The median durations were 8 and 6 years for patients suffering from hypertension and hypertension treatment complications. Less than 6% of the participants suffered from heart-related complications and about 26% suffered from diabetes (Ogedegbe, Mancuso, & Allegrante, 2004, p. 444). The findings are valid since they are exclusively based on the responses of the patients. Some of the weaknesses of the study include the use of small sample size and less effective research methodologies. As a result, the authors proposed the use of alternative approaches such as different data collection methods for future studies.

Conclusion

The results of the study are of great importance to health providers especially in the field of clinical nursing. The findings will be used by clinical nurses to improve the conditions of patients with hypertension. In addition, the findings and recommendations will be used by future researchers to improve the approaches and validity of their studies.

References

Mutnick, A. H. (2004). Hypertension management for the primary care clinician. Bethesda, MD: American Society of Health-System Pharmecists.

Ogedegbe, G., Mancuso, C. A., & Allegrante, J. P. (2004). Expectations of blood pressure management in hypertensive African American patients: A qualitative study. Journal of National Medical Association, 96(4), 442-449. Print.

Taylor, B. J., Kermode, S., & Roberts, K. (2006). Research in nursing and health care: Evidence for practice. South Melbourne, VC: Thomson.

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