Role of biographical experience and bodily sensations in patients' adaptation to hypertension

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OBJECTIVE: To explore patients' adaptation to hypertension and to describe its impact on their sense of body, biographical experience, approach to life and daily activities. METHODS: A qualitative interview study with nine men and eight women (age: 35-50 years) with hypertension from four general practices in Denmark. The informants differed in type and duration of treatment. RESULTS: Adaptation to hypertension was influenced by the patients' biographical experiences and involved changes in body perception. The process affected patients' daily activities and they actively tested their physical abilities. Patients gradually adopted behaviour and attitudes to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease. CONCLUSION: A diagnosis of hypertension constitutes a biographical disruption and has an impact on daily life. Patients' adaptation to hypertension combines biographical and bodily experiences. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Attention to patients' biographies and images of hypertension is an important element of hypertensive treatment.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)236-43
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2009

ID: 10799621