The objective of this study was to observe the behavior of hypertensive patients along
with the factors affecting their self-care practice. The qualitative study was conducted during
the period July - December 2006 and involved 29 diagnosed hypertensive patients, the persons
who took care of them, the leaders of the health-care team in the community, and the healthcare staff of the local hypertensive clinic. Information was collected by personal interview,
group discussion, and observation. Data were analyzed and checked by using the content
analysis and triangulation techniques, respectively.
The results were as follows: most of the hypertensive patients pursued inappropriate
self-care behaviors, including food consumption behavior, cooking in familiar ways, consuming food together in companion groups, with the choice of the food being provided at the
discretion of the cooks. Among the factors affecting them were insufficient physical exercise
owing to fatigue or no extra time due to their overwhelming responsibility of providing family care. A minority group could not perform the physical activities due to senile frailness.
Most patients suffered stress from varying causes including debt. With regard to the factors
affecting tension, the most serious was the liability they faced. In the group discussion, the
patients and persons who took care of the patients criticized the health-care providers with
regard to patient behaviors on food consumption and regular exercise.