Original Articles

Perceived Challenges in the Self-Management of Essential Hypertension in South African Settings

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 19, issue 2, 2009 , pages: 231–235
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2009.10820284
Author(s): Karel F.H. BothaNorth-West University,, Wynand F. du PlessisNorth-West University,


The study investigated the subjective experiences of Essential Hypertension (EH) in a sample of urban white Afrikaans-speaking (n=25) and black Sotho-speaking (n=25) patients. Measures of self-management were obtained and their subjective experience of EH and its self-management was explored during brief, semi-structured interviews. Anger and stumbling blocks, for example forgetting to follow prescriptions, lack of motivation; and side effects of medication emerged as strong themes from all participants. Action-focused strategies were applied more often by self-managing participants, in contrast to denial, which was more evident in non-self-managing participants. Illness misconceptions and family support emerged as strong themes from non-self-managing Sotho participants only. The implication of these results are discussed.

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