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Julia Ugorji

Nursing 2017 Speaker -  Julia Ugorji

Title: Lifestyle Modification Toolkit to Prevent and Manage Hypertension among African American Women

Julia Ugorji

University of Maryland SON, USA

Biography

Dr. Ugorji’s career as a nurse faculty, clinical instructor, nurse leader, and nurse educator has spanned over 25 years of nursing in United States and abroad. Her professional experience includes teaching in undergraduate and graduate nursing programs, and many years of clinical experience in diverse settings; mental health, community health, and med/surg. Dr. Ugorji is an author of several articles published with the Nigerian nurses and NBNA newsletters. She is a recipient of Carnegie foundation grant and academic scholarship awards.  Dr. Ugorji has more than 15 professional presentations, participated in program development locally and internationally. Shares membership with several professional organizations and serve at different levels such as NANNNA President 2015.

Abstract

Problem: Hypertension is a global public health issue affecting many people in the United States.  African American women remain the highest in percentage by race and ethnicity for developing hypertension with poor risk awareness. Hypertension has costly implications for the health care system. Through lifestyle modifications in the form of a nutrition plan called Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension and increased physical activity, hypertension could be prevented. Among African Americans, the incidence of hypertension increases in their late thirties.

Purpose: To develop a toolkit of resources for African American women between the ages of 20 to 45 years as a reference guide to reduce the risk of developing hypertension through lifestyle modifications. The objective of the project was to support the 7th report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure which cited a critical need for primary and secondary prevention strategies in African American women. The clinical question for the project examined the effectiveness of a lifestyle modification toolkit as an evidence-based strategy to prevent and manage hypertension among the target population.

Evidence/Background: Hypertension is a chronic disease yet preventable through lifestyle modifications. Information from the toolkit would be used to effect changes among the target population and in the health care system overall. It would also help to expand nursing practice by providing opportunity for nurses working in the community setting.

Methods, Result and Outcomes: Comprehensive literature review with the use of search engines such as CINAHL Plus, PubMed, and EbscoHOST. Key search words such as Toolkit, Hypertension and life style modifications were used. Only peer reviewed articles within the last 5 years were selected. Pender’s health promotion model guided the planning and development of the Toolkit by integrating the cultural beliefs and values of the African American women focusing on the educational materials for effective buy-in. A 5-item survey was given to 2 content experts and 3 members from the target population to evaluate the toolkit. Content Validity Index Scale was the measuring tool. The universal agreement calculation (S-CVI/UA) method was used which resulted in a CVI score of 1.00. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics to obtain a content validity index score.  Findings suggested universal agreement on the content of the toolkit. This toolkit would promote positive social change by improving the outcomes of African American women with hypertension.

Summary and Discussion: The Toolkit was designed as a reference guide using culturally based set of strategies that would increase lifestyle modifications to address the gaps identified in care.  The Toolkit was created to provide a framework and resources to prevent and manage hypertension among the target population through lifestyle modification strategies in the form of a DASH eating plan and increased physical activities. The Toolkit organized strategies into three domains of care gaps bearing in mind the objectives of the project. The domains addressed in the Toolkit are hypertension as a public health burden to the individual, community, and the health care system, reducing the burden by tackling hypertension, and providing resources to the target population to help review activities.