Improving Hypertension Knowledge among Formerly Incarcerated Individuals: An Assessment of a Health Education Program during Community Reentry
The prevalence of hypertension (HTN) among adults in the United States is a serious public health concern. Individuals who are currently, or were recently, incarcerated are found to be at greater risk for HTN than those without a history of incarceration. Although previous HTN prevention and self-management interventions have targeted high-risk populations, there is a lack of research regarding the utility of such programs among formerly incarcerated persons. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether Blood Pressure Understanding and Management Progaram (BUMP), a four-week educational program developed for formerly incarcerated persons, would effectively increase participants’ knowledge of HTN and blood pressure self-management. Four weekly, 60-minute sessions were held at the Institute for Community Justice in Philadelphia. Nine participants completed all four sessions. BUMP classes focused on defining medical terms related to blood pressure, interpreting blood pressure readings, explaining causes and complications of high blood pressure, selecting healthy food options, and discussing lifestyle modifications to manage blood pressure. Participants were asked to complete pre-and post-intervention knowledge assessments consisting of 14 items related to topics covered in the BUMP curriculum. Analyses demonstrated a significant improvement in the mean knowledge assessment score after completion of the four sessions. Further, the percentage of correct responses improved across nine assessment items, while two items remained the same, and only one item declined. These findings demonstrate the potential for community-based educational programs to enhance HTN knowledge among formerly incarcerated persons. Future research should focus on how improvement in knowledge relates to changes in health behaviors and outcomes among this population.
Recommended CitationWeideman, MPHc, BA, Katie and McAna, PhD, John F., "Improving Hypertension Knowledge among Formerly Incarcerated Individuals: An Assessment of a Health Education Program during Community Reentry" (2018). Master of Public Health Thesis and Capstone Presentations. Presentation 273.