Self-Care Behaviors in Patients with Hypertension to Prevent Hypertensive Emergencies: a Qualitative Study Based on the Theory of Planned Behavior

DOI: 10.2478/jce-2022-0016

Background: Hypertension is a crucial general health issue. Severe and acute hypertension needs urgent medical intervention. Self-care behaviors can help patients with hypertension in controlling blood pressure and preventing hypertensive emergencies. This study aimed to determine the perception of hypertension towards self-care behaviors using constructs of the theory of planned behavior (TPB) in critically ill patients with hypertension to prevent hypertensive emergencies. Material and Methods: This study was conducted based on the directed qualitative content analysis of 33 critically ill patients with hypertension who participated in semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions. Results: The data were analyzed based on the four main categories of TPB. The attitude category consisted of positive and negative subcategories. The subjective norms category consisted of authority of healthcare staff, family support and approval, and influence of friends subcategories. The perceived behavioral control category included discipline, self-control, receiving consultation, individual concerns, financial problems, access to medicine, food culture, and coronavirus limitations subcategories. The behavioral intention category had intention to perform the behavior and intention to continue a behavior subcategories. Conclusion: The results revealed the requirement for a multidimensional approach to improve attitude, subjective norms, and behavioral control for performing self-care behaviors to reduce the number of hypertensive emergencies in critically ill patients with hypertension. Factors affecting self-care included socioeconomic status, family support, governmental organizations, and participants’ health condition.