Improving Blood Pressure Management Among Alaska Native People

Customer-owners pledge to make healthy choices to improve cardiovascular health during Heart Health Month.

Southcentral Foundation is one of three sites in the United States conducting research for cardiovascular studies, which are part of the Native-Controlling Hypertension and Risk through Technology (Native-CHART) grant. Native-CHART aims to improve control of blood pressure and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease in American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander people diagnosed with hypertension. American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander people experience more risk factors for heart disease and related complications than other demographics in the United States. As researchers learn more about preventing and managing hypertension, as well as other risk factors for heart disease and stroke, these studies will help improve our ability to support Native populations in reducing their risk of chronic illnesses.

SCF is supporting three research projects through this grant. The first study, tentatively titled Patient and Provider Perspectives and Practices on Managing Hypertension, includes a qualitative focus group with customer-owners and will highlight the groups perspectives about current practices for blood pressure management. Those perspectives will then be compared to provider perspectives to identify potential best practices and opportunities to improve. Understanding the relationship between effective and culturally acceptable hypertension management practices is critical to the success of intervention strategies for improved outcomes.

The second study is a mixed method approach with customer-owners which assesses the precision, accuracy, and misclassification of two home blood pressure monitoring devices compared to the gold standard provided in clinic-based samples of Alaska Native and American Indian people. The study will help understand customer-owner preference for either the wrist or arm cuff home blood pressure monitoring device and what factors determine preferences among Alaska Native people. The tentative titles are Evaluating the Performance of Home Blood Pressure Monitoring Devices in an Alaska Native and American Indian Population and Assessing Preference of Home Blood Pressure Devices Among Alaska Native People. The third study is a multi-level, sustainable stroke and cardiovascular disease prevention trial to evaluate the impact of various blood pressure management strategies on customer-owner’s blood pressure.

SCF Research was established in 2007 to improve the health and wellness of the Native Community through high-quality health services research conducted with and for the Native Community. SCF Research addresses a wide variety of medical and behavioral health topics aligned with SCF’s wellness objectives. Topics of SCF Research studies include personalized medicine, suicide prevention, trauma, and diabetes.

For more information on these studies contact Research at (907) 729-8623 or visit https://nchart.wsu.edu/

by Tiana Taylor

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