Persons’ experiences of having hypertension: An interview study

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Background among the 1–1.5 billion persons with hypertension globally only, 20–30% have controlled blood pressure (BP). The most important problem identified is non-adherence to treatment, i.e., failure to change lifestyle and to take prescribed medication. Knowledge about the reasons for this is limited. Objectives The aim of the study was to explore people's experiences of having hypertension. Design Inductive design based on qualitative interviews. Settings The south of Sweden. Participants Twelve adults diagnosed with hypertension and treated in primary care were interviewed. Methods The transcribed interviews were analysed using content analysis, which rendered three categories. Results The individuals adapted to their diagnosis in different ways. Collaboration with the staff gave security, but the persons still perceived anxiety and uncertainty. Conclusions To meet the needs of people with hypertension, strategies such as person-centred counselling and care, using digital interventions, following national guidelines and starting nurse-led clinics, may be of help. These strategies can give a foundation for increased self-efficacy, which is crucial for persons to be able to change lifestyle and adhere to prescribed medication in order to achieve BP control.