Community-based health education programs may be helpful in improving health outcomes in patients with chronic illnesses. This study aimed to evaluate community-based health education strategies in the management of hypertensive patients with low socioeconomic status in Dongguan City, China.
This was a randomized, non-blinded trial involving 360 hypertensive patients enrolled in the community health service centre of Liaobu Town, Dongguan City, China. Participants were randomized to receive one of the three community-based health education programs over 2 years: self-learning reading (Group 1), monthly regular didactic lecture (Group 2), monthly interactive education workshop (Group 3). Outcomes included the changes in the proportion of subjects with normalized blood pressure (BP), hypertension-related knowledge score, adherence to antihypertensive treatment, lifestyle, body mass index and serum lipids.
After the 2-y intervention, the proportion of subjects with normalized BP increased significantly in Group 2 (from 41.2% to 63.2%, p<0.001), and increased more substantially in Group 3 (from 40.2% to 86.3%, p<0.001), but did not change significantly in Group 1. Improvements in hypertension-related knowledge score, adherence to regular use of medications, appropriate salt intake and regular physical activity were progressively greater from group 1 to group 2 to group 3. Group 3 had the largest reductions in body mass index and serum LDL cholesterol levels.
Interactive education workshops may be the most effective strategy in community-based health promotion education programs for hypertensive patients in improving patients' knowledge on hypertension and alleviating clinical risk factors for preventing hypertension-related complications.