Self-Care Behaviour Practices and Related Factors among Hypertensive Men and Women in Delhi
A descriptive cross sectional study was undertaken to assess and compare the self-care behaviour practices and related factors such as perceived health status, knowledge about hypertension related aspects, physical exercise patterns, and food intake among hypertensive men and women in Delhi. A total of 80 hypertensive subjects; 40 men and 40 women between 45-59 years of age constituted the study sample. Questionnaire-cum-interview schedule was used to collect data on general profile, perceived health status, knowledge about hypertension related aspects, and physical exercise patterns of the subjects. Food intake data were gathered using 24-hour diet recall method. Behavioural practices on six self-care activities were assessed using an adapted Hypertension Self-Care Activity Level Effects Scale (H-SCALE). Results revealed that as compared to women, men had relatively better awareness about causes and consequences of hypertension; and methods of controlling blood pressure. On the subscales of H-SCALE, females scored slightly better than the males in terms of medication adherence, weight management, and consumption of low-salt low-fat diets though the difference between the two groups was not statistically significant (p≤0.05). Males had significantly higher scores (p≤0.001) than females for only smoking and alcohol consumption, which were negative indicators and connoted greater risk for hypertension. The study indicated that the male subjects had relatively better knowledge about hypertension related aspects while the female subjects followed slightly better self-care behaviour practices. Moreover, there was a lot of scope for improvement in knowledge about hypertension as well as the self-care behaviour practices of both men and women to effectively control their blood pressure levels.
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