Telephone counseling helps Korean Americans who speak little English improve hypertension management

Research Activities, December 2010, No. 364

Telephone counseling has been successful in promoting medication adherence, healthy diet, and other lifestyle modifications among patients with high blood pressure (HBP). Korean Americans (KAs) and other immigrants tend to have increased blood pressure when they migrate to a more developed country due to the stress of acculturation and changes in diet and lifestyle. A new study found that a special program using telephone counseling for KAs with HBP and who spoke little English was successful in improving medication-taking, reducing alcohol consumption, and boosting exercise. The program used biweekly (more intensive) or monthly (less intensive) telephone contacts by bilingual nurses, in addition to structured psychobehavioral education and home BP monitoring with a teletransmission system.

The Self-Help Intervention Program for HBP Care (SHIP-HBP) was developed and evaluated as a means of addressing the lack of adequate HBP care and control among KAs. The community-based trial targeted middle-aged KAs with HBP who were randomly assigned to either more intensive (MI) or less intensive (LI) telephone counseling. At each session, the nurse and the patient discussed BP reports generated from the transmitted home monitoring data as well as their BP control status. Overall, 360 patients completed the intervention and 11,315 telephone calls were placed over the 12-month counseling period. The success rate of telephone outreach was 80 percent. The level of success was influenced by the frequency of counseling, patient's employment status, and patient's years of U.S. residence. Over the 12-month counseling period, both groups showed improved medication-taking, reduced alcohol consumption, and more exercise, but not less smoking, with no significant group differences.

The researchers concluded that bilingual nurse telephone counseling may be widely applicable to disseminate chronic disease management guidelines to linguistically isolated communities with limited health resources and information. This study was supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (HS13160).

See "Implementation and success of nurse telephone counseling in linguistically isolated Korean American patients with high blood pressure," by Hae-Ra Han, Ph.D., R.N., Jiyun Kim, Ph.D., R.N., Kim B. Kim, Ph.D., and others in Patient Education and Counseling 80, pp. 130-134, 2010.

Current as of December 2010
Internet Citation: Telephone counseling helps Korean Americans who speak little English improve hypertension management: Research Activities, December 2010, No. 364. December 2010. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://archive.ahrq.gov/news/research-activities/dec10/1210RA21.html